This wonderful debut is a coming-of-age tale full of atmosphere and suspense,
with an unexpectedly dark twist
As unbelievable as it sounds, I have never been a member of a book group… This fact hit me head on a couple of months ago and so I thought it was only right that I overcompensate and join two! Well technically, I began one myself (more info to follow), but I have also been extremely lucky to be chosen as a member of Curtis Brown’s Book Group and was sent a copy of The Summer of Secrets for our first read.
Part of the joys of being in a book group is discovering books you maybe wouldn’t have come across before and this was certainly true of Sarah Jasmon’s debut. This probably wouldn’t be the sort of book I would pick out at a bookstore and find myself taking home, however the second I started reading it, I knew it was something special. The Summer of Secrets took me back to everything I first loved about reading and it is exactly the kind of book I favored in my early bookworm days. To say it has reignited a fire is an understatement, I am really glad I found this book.
The novel is a coming-of-age tale set in the dreamy English summer of 1983 on the canals of rural Manchester. Sixteen year old Helen becomes infatuated with a family of bohemian neighbors, the Dover’s, that move in to a cottage close-by. Helen finds herself becoming an honorary part of their family via her new best friend and eldest daughter, Victoria Dover. One of the most enjoyable elements of the book is the journey of their (sometimes slightly toxic) friendship and the beautiful portrayal of teen angst.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading The Summer of Secrets, although I was instantly pulled in by the sense of mystery, the hints of suspense and the complicated characters that were present from page one.
I absolutely love the set up of a long lost summer and this is written incredibly well. Jasmon is a wonderful story teller and I was completely hooked on her flawless prose from the beginning.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, because there is a twist where a secret is finally revealed. However if you want to lose yourself in a beautifully written page turner that has a good dose of thrills and mystery, whilst also recapturing some summer youth, then this is definitely the choice for you.