1967 …. yes, we start off in the 1960s.
Summer – we start off being introduced to her first at school, at the age of 16, working in a convenient store and living with her free styled parents in a commune. As Christmas approaches, the school pupils write letters/christmas cards to the NZ Army in Vietnam, Summer sent hers that landed in the lap of Corporal Scott Taylor. We are then plunged into Summers life, learning about a new developing interest, painting with water colours, amongst other complicated life scenarios.
Scott – Oh dear, Scott, Scott, Scott …. can he catch a lucky break? We follow Scott through his army years, meet the army “mates” listen to the antics him and his mates get up to on their drunken stoopers, until it’s time to go back home to NZ, to his wife. Scott also continues this pen friendship with Summer, and we ask ourselves will they ever meet? Do we have here a start of something more than friendship? Or is this just kindness swept up in a letter?
I would like to thank Carole Brungar, for gifting me the ARC of, Loving Summer. The eBook will be available Monday 16th August, the paperback will be available in bookstores in NZ from 1st September.
This is beautifully written and I throughly enjoyed it. The authors plotting skills are tight and the characters all had different personalities, very colourful, very real and plausible, the protagonist, Summer, a strong female that was naive from the start, but with determination and with help of some very caring friends ended up to be a well rounded female, with a very strong spirit.
Some of this story took me back to my childhood days with the mention of
“counting out lollies into small white bags“.
“grey metal milkshake container“
and was proud of the fact that our own kiwi author mentioned our own brand of ice cream, hokey pokey!! A New Zealand favourite for many ice cream enthusiasts.
Some of the plot twists were predictable for me, but the major ones definitely put a spanner in the works and twisted the story to amusing heights.
Naturally we go all around NZ … down south as far as Christchurch to way up to the top of the North Island. We don’t stay in NZ though, we are transported to Vietnam and Paris, with a vastly different atmosphere.
I was also pleasantly surprised that some of the book is set out in letter form, so we can see for ourselves what Summer and Scott were writing to each other about.
Although this is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone.
If you are looking for a gut wrenching twist in a Historical Fiction setting, look no further, this will have you crying through the pages,
definitely a 5 star rating from me and will suit anyone interested in the Veitnam War, NZ and Paris, the arts… definitely an interesting tale of love, with torment, tears and laughter.
Loving Summer by Carole Brungar