seanat (elka)'s Reviews > The Book of Summers

The Book of Summers by Emylia Hall
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Jun 02, 12

bookshelves: 2012, kindle
Read from April 23 to May 01, 2012

Emylia Hall's tale ,of a young girl as she 'summers' in Hungary with her mother every year after her parents break up, rang a lot of bells with me. So much of it was familiar and could have related to my childhood - I too 'summered' each year in Budapest as my father is from there and the authors settings were vivid and evocative of all things Hungarian.

Erzsébet fails to adapt to her motherless life in Devon, with her reserved father, finding it drab and conservative and lives for her few weeks each year in Hungary with her exotic mother Marika and her artist lover. Everything is more colourful and vibrant during those visits, the places, people and relationships.

15 years later, Beth (her new persona) long estranged from her mother receives a 'Book of Summers' - a photo album of her mother's devoted purely to those few days each year. Beth recalls all the highs and lows of those sun scorched liberating holidays, her first unforgotten romance and ultimately the devastating last summer when family secrets were exposed.

I enjoyed this book a lot, not least for the memories that it brought back for me. Although life there was only glimpsed at and through rose tinted glasses it seems inevitable that this would be the case as Erzsébet was young and only dipped into Hungarian life - real life there would not have been so carefree, a reality she never had to face.
The author writes very descriptively, occasionally a bit too much for my tastes but overall an unusual coming of age story with an interesting background.

Thanks to NetGalley for making this available to me.
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