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The Last Days of Summer

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  86 reviews
She can forgive. They can't forget.

After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she's letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.

Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joanne is just intrigued by
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Penguin UK
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
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Dannii Elle
I received this book in exchange for an honest review on NetGalley. Thank you to the author, Vanessa Roman, and the publisher, Penguin, for this opportunity.

The Last Days of Summer looked like a whimsical summer read, the premise seemed an interesting one and the cover was fairly attractive and yet I didn't feel compelled to read this one. Maybe it wasn't the right book to pick up right now, maybe it wasn't the right book for me altogether or maybe the synopsis wasn't immediately grabbing. I d

Huntsville State Penitentiary had held Jasper Curtis captive for ten years – his release was something he looked forward to. But his return to the only home he’d known; his parents’ house, now belonging to his sister Lizzie and her two girls, Katie and Joanne was fraught with difficulty. Jasper had nowhere to go other than Lizzie’s home – he didn’t want any trouble; was done with trouble – but would trouble come to him?

Teenage Katie was suspicious of the man she had to call Uncle, but eleve
Margaret Madden
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lizzie's brother is released from prison and returning to the family home where his sister and her daughters now reside. In the small town, in the heart of prairie land, it is not a homecoming to celebrate. Jasper is not wanted by the locals and his return is unwelcome. Lizzie accepts his return as her lot but tried to shelter her daughters from the animosity that surrounds her brothers presence. Katie is a typical teenager, trying to appear non-plussed by her uncle, while her younger sister, Jo ...more
Apr 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: penguin
The Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan is set in a prairie town in Western Texas.

Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters after spending 10 years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary. Lizzie is nervous at taking Jasper into her home as after 10 years she no longer remembers or trusts Jasper.
Jasper says he's all done with trouble, but in a forgotten prairie town that knows no forgiveness, it does not take long for trouble to arrive at their door.

Vanessa Ronan i
Ruth Jones
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved this book......but..... i love animals, and the description of the rabbit left me with a sickening image.... because of this i've downrated the book..... There's enough real cruelty in this world towards animals, without have to read fiction. ...more
Renita D'Silva
Mar 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Beautifully written
Cleopatra  Pullen
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, crime
I have to say this is one of the hardest books I’ve had to review for a long time because I have such mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it is full of beautiful language, on the other, it is in short, a brutal read. In fact I feel sullied after reading it; does that make it good or bad?

We meet Jasper Curtis as he is being released from Huntsville State Penitentiary after serving a ten-year sentence. He is returning to his boyhood home, a home where his sister Lizzie lives with her teenage
Mel (Epic Reading)
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
This would make a wonderful book club book for groups that like to take on tough and morally subjective topics.
There is not really one major character per say in The Last Days of Summer. Although certainly out leads are a brother who just got out of jail, a conflicted sister over her familial obligation and said sisters two daughters.

Of all the things that stick out in Vanessa Ronan's prose; it's certainly that the youngest daughter is the person we all wish we could be as adults. Innocent, tr
Cathy Geagan
May 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
First published on https://eatsplantsreadsbooks.wordpres...

Vanessa Ronan’s debut Gothic Americana novel is fresh off the presses, and it could not come more highly recommended by writers I love. Joseph O’Connor describes it as “a gripping piece of storytelling, a debut written with the empathy and authority more usually encountered in the work of an established novelist”; while Donal Ryan says it’s a “powerful, formidable debut. Vanessa is a natural storyteller and what a gripping, dark, compell
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I can only start by saying what a wonderful and captivating book this truly is. I don't want to give too much away in my review due to the nature of the story however, obviously I feel the need to elaborate on the blurb so that people understand what a fascinating read this book is.

As explained in the description, the book is about Jasper Curtis who comes home from jail to live with his sister Lizzie and her two daughters Katie and Joanne. It is the story of their struggle and plight in forgiven
Trish at Between My Lines
This review was originally posted on [Between My Lines]I kind of hate reviewing The Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan as I have mixed feelings about it. So I’m just going to spew out what I loved and what I disliked with a huge disclaimer. I’m not the biggest fan of literary fiction so that has biased my opinion.


First Line of The Last Days of Summer by Vanessa Ronan:
"July flies call in the humid evening, song thick as heat, rolling in uneven waves across the lawn to wash up tuneless o
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it
I received a free copy of this book from Penguin Random House Ireland in exchange for an honest review.

The Last Days of Summer follows a family dealing with upheaval when a uncle who has been in prison for 10 years is released and comes back into the family home. Now Lizzie is trying to accept her brother Jasper is back, while wondering if he's the same man she grew up with while her oldest daughter Katie remains fearful and wants nothing to do with him. The youngest girl, Joanne, ends up formi
Joanne Robertson
Sep 21, 2015 rated it liked it
This cover promised a beautifully hot, lazy summer's day but this book is a whole lot darker than expected. It tells the tale of a family struggling to cope with the aftermath of a terrible crime. Jasper has just been released from a ten year jail service and has headed back to his home town, to where his family still live. His sister Lizzie lives a quiet life on her own with her two girls, teenager Katie and eleven year old Joanne.

We know from the start of this book that Jasper committed a ter
A Reader's Heaven
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

Mid-July in Texas. Cicadas shed their dry summer skins, the scent of roses hangs heavy in the still air, and a woman sits alone on her porch at dusk, watching the empty, merciless prairie, its light falling to darkness. He's coming home. Upstairs, Lizzie knows, her daughters are safe in their beds. Joanne, still young enough to smile at strangers, one last summer of childhood left in her. Katie, already a beau
Mairead Hearne (

The Last Days of Summer is a debut novel by Vanessa Ronan. Published by Penguin Random House UK/Penguin Ireland, its release date is 5th May 2016.

‘After ten years in the Huntsville State Penitentiary, Jasper Curtis returns home to live with his sister and her two daughters. Lizzie does not know who she’s letting into her home: the brother she grew up loving or the monster he became.

Teenage Katie distrusts this strange man in their home but eleven-year-old Joann
Alexandra WhimsyPages
A handful of contradicting thoughts!

The story, spiced by a southern accent, revolves around Jason’s return and the emotions that it brings to the community. The community where everyone knows each other, where faith and religions can dictate their own mandate, where revenge is a high priority.

I admit that the very slow pace of which the events unraveled made it tedious to power through, but the writing was vivid and descriptive, making me feel and see everything, making it so easy to roll th
Book Wormy
Jun 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-read
Well that was a weird one and not in a good way.

The characters act in ways that are completely unbelievable, extreme and bizarre.

It's a good job the author didn't reveal the Uncles crime until right near the end of the book because if I had known it from the start I would have been thinking no mother would let a man like that near her daughters even if he is her brother.

The townsfolk refusal to forgive is totally understandable but the warning message to get rid of the Uncle was a step too far
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
I took this book with me on my summer holiday, hoping for a good page-turner with a good tense atmosphere and some emotional heft. In some ways it did deliver, but in others I found it a let down. It started off strong, evoking the oppressive heat of the Texan summer and the parched earth of the prairie. Ronan painted a clear picture of the lonely Curtis house and the tension of Jasper's return. The language was poetic at times, but about halfway through it became riddled with cliches and repeti ...more
Apr 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
She hopes he's done with trouble but it trouble done with him?
Ten years to repent
Ten years to forgive

Ten days for revenge

The Last Days of Summer is told in four different points of view, over a short period of time and Vanessa Ronan's skilfully and vividly creates not just her characters, but also an almost oppressive, suffocating sense of place with her words.

Ten years ago Jasper Curtis committed a terrible crime, he's been locked away, but now he is free. His sister Lizzie adored her brother w
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First of all, many thanks to the Publisher for approving my request for an ARC via Netgalley.
The Last Days Of Summer will be released on 5th May 2016.

This book had my attention from the very beginning and held it until the very end. Not an easy read by any means, given the subject matter, but well written and thought provoking. I found myself wondering what I would do in the same situation. I guess you never know until you're faced with such decisions.
Jasper finds himself a free man after servi
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on:> http://lauraslittlebookblog.blogspot....

I love a book that intrigues me and makes me want to read it and The Last Days of Summer was exactly this.

With Jasper's release from prison and returning to his small town in Texas, I was constantly left in suspense as to what it was that he had done. What was so terrible that the townspeople despised his return so much? With the constant narrative movement between characters we slowly start to learn more about Jasper and the other p
pam olson
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly written descriptions of somewhere in western Texas. Could taste the air through the writing. Details make the story vivid in every single sense.
Be prepared for a bumpy ride. From the first page, ominous foreboding keeps a level of suspense - not to be resolved until the end.
In full disclosure, this author is my husband's daughter. But I wouldn't be writing this review at all if I didn't find the book incredibly compelling.

It will be available for sale in UK, Canada on May 5th. Don'
Janka H.
This is a quite atmospheric book about how hard is the way back after a crime into the community that will simply not have you.

This summer, Jasper is coming back after 10 years in a prison for a crime. We do not know which crime, only that is was ugly and there are some very hard feelings in the community, and even his own family is torn. His sister Lizzie accepts Jasper back into the family home, yet the tension is present. This is going to be one, long, hot summer under the parching sun and th
This was going to be a two-star book until the last few chapters ruined what little enjoyment I got out of this book. (view spoiler)

But even without that, the story was totally unrealistic. The reader is drip-fed information about Jasper's crime very slowly, w
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Looking at the cover, I was expecting something a little like The Girls, which was one of my recent favourites. It was completely different, but there was one thing that was similar - the claustrophobic feeling of a scorching summer. Descriptions so evocative that you could feel the air burning your throat.

The pace felt slightly odd - the start was so slow and drawn out, a whole lot of nothing going on, and yet the
Allison M
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I obtained this book from NetGalley for free. This is my review:

This is the darkest book I have read in a long time, it charts what happens when a convict is released from prison back to a community that will not accept him.

The writer attempts to get inside the minds and motivations of people filled with hatred and a lust for violence. This would be too grim and dark to be a book I could enjoy but for the fact that the writing is so nuanced. Family loyalties are explored, as is tenderness, the
Hayley Long
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in exchange for an honest review on NetGalley.

I really enjoyed this book, but for the most part I felt conflicted (in a good way?). I would side with Joanne some of the time and like Jasper and want him to be good and the other times I would side with Katie, just proves that life is not always black and white.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be adding Vanessa Ronan to my list of must read authors.

**** I had to stop reading at the 'rabbit' section as it made me feel
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't too sure if this was my kind of book but got into it and must say I really liked it.Lizzie with the difficulty of bringing up her two daughters after her husband left her in circumstances brought up due to her brothers fault.Her loyalty to her brother Jasper when he returns from prison.the wonderful discription of the surrounding prairie and the hardship ojf life there.yes,I would recommend but say stick with it as its not until near the end you find and out exactly what Jasper did ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dani Fletcher
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I found the premise intriguing and the author skillfully builds tension throughout the book, culminating in an exhilarating last chapter.

The book as a whole is a fine exploration of family, loyalty, and the lengths people go to exact revenge.
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Vanessa Ronan was born in Houston and in her 28 years has lived in Texas, Mexico, New York, Edinburgh, and Dublin, where she now lives with her Irish husband.

Among other things, she has been a dancer, a PA, a barmaid, a literature student, a dance teacher, and now, a writer. Home-schooled by her literature teacher parents, Vanessa began writing as soon as she learned the alphabet. The Last Days o

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