Thursday, January 24, 2013
The Last Summer
Author: Judith Kinghorn
Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade; Reprint edition (December 31, 2012)
Original publication in England - April, 2012
I was almost seventeen when the spell of my childhood was broken...It was the beginning of summer and, unbeknown to any of us then, the end of a belle epoque...
In July of 1914, innocent, lovely Clarissa Granville lives with her parents and three brothers in the idyllic isolation of Deyning Park, a grand English country house, where she whiles away her days enjoying house parties, country walks and tennis matches. Clarissa is drawn to Tom Cuthbert, the housekeeper's handsome son. Though her parents disapprove of their upstairs-downstairs friendship, the two are determined to see each other, and they meet in secret to share what becomes a deep and tender romance. But soon the winds of war come to Deyning, as they come to all of Europe. As Tom prepares to join the front lines, neither he nor Clarissa can envision what lies ahead of them in the dark days and years to come. Nor can they imagine how their love will be tested, or how they will treasure the memory of this last, perfect summer.
A very proper Victorian styled book, in setting and writing.
A lovely old-fashioned story of love battened around, abused and hidden. Clarissa and Tom spend years fighting their love for each other. Dealing with WWII, marriages and other relationships, continents even separating them at times and somehow continuously bouncing back into each other's lives....always at the wrong times.
Even though the story is not generational in length, the amount of detail put into the years surrounding their separation - complete with full family accounts - makes it a very full and fleshed out novel.
Lovely for these cold nights and a fireplace.