- Social Classes
In the gloriously hot summer of 1936, a group of people meet at a country house party. Within three years, England will be at war, but for now, time stands still.
Dan Ranscombe is clever and good-looking, but he resents the wealth and easy savoir faire of fellow guest, Paul Latimer. Surely a shrewd girl like Meg Slater would see through that, wouldn’t she? And what about Diana, Paul’s beautiful sister, Charles asher, the Jewish outsider, Madeleine, restless and dissatisfied with her role as children’s nanny? And artist Henry Haddon, their host, no longer young, but secure in his power as a practised seducer.
As these guests gather, none has any inkling the choices they make will have fateful consequences, lasting through the war and beyond. Or that the first unforeseen event will be a shocking death.
The Summer House Party
In 1936 a group of young people gather for a frightfully delightful garden house party. From there we follow them as they grow and start to face the reactions of their choices and watch as they try to cope with the whole world changing around them.
I adored this book and the characters that I got to meet. Meg is so likeable and you do feel great empathy towards her throughout the book. She was my absolute favourite and I was at odds with her choices. There really wasn’t a character that I didn’t like. They were all completely valid in the roles they played. I enjoyed how they were all connected in some way. Very much like one domino falling down it has a reaction to the rest.
The book is a hefty 500 pages but it flows beautifully and to be honest, I read slower towards the end because frankly, I didn’t want my time in this wonderful adventure to end. Yes, it really is that good.
If you are like me and you enjoy a good Sunday night four-part drama on the box. Then you will love to meet these flawed, engaging, dangerous and lovable lot. I recently visited London and it features a lot in the book and it was super to be able to imagine myself in certain places as I ghosted the characters as the story progressed.
I feel Fraser captures the war years absolutely perfectly. I really had not thought much about how social classes would, in the end, have to mix and work together to survive.
The book is colourful in lots of ways it heightened many of my senses as I read. I have great visuals of the grand houses with beautifully kept gardens and the vast alternative being the dark and smelly air raid shelters in the heart of London. Of course, you have this amazing cast of characters who are all fragile and flawed in their own ways too. So the book just keeps on giving. The plot for me was not predictable, I didn’t quite know where it was going to go at times. Which made it even better.
I am overjoyed that there is indeed a sequel. Even now as I write my review I miss the characters dreadfully and I know that’s silly but I do. I am not getting a holiday this year, but it’s okay because I feel I have been on quite the adventure. Book two will be like a catch up with old friends. I am like a child before Christmas day, just bursting at the seams with happiness.
Jump into The Summer House Party you will leave full, happy and content that you just had the most amazing unforgettable time.
by Kelly Lacey
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Head of Zeus
Thank you to the team at HOZ for the opportunity to the on the blog tour and for my copy of the book.
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