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The Summer Country: A Novel by Lauren Willig

The Summer Country: A Novel

by Lauren Willig

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11029167,862 (4.1)3
"Tense, atmospheric, and gorgeously written, The Summer Country is a novel to savor!" - Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network A brilliant, multigenerational saga in the tradition of The Thorn Birds and North and South, New York Times bestselling historical novelist Lauren Willig delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet--a sweeping Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados. Barbados, 1854: Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous English merchant clan-- merely a vicar's daughter, and a reform-minded vicar's daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family's lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day.  But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados--a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned.  When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts. Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins?  Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills? The answer lies in the past-- a tangled history of lies, greed, clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom. THE SUMMER COUNTRY will beguile readers with its rendering of families, heartbreak, and the endurance of hope against all odds.   … (more)



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Multiple timelines and a lot of characters and names that you need to work to keep organized in your mind. I guess I haven't been in the right mood to really tackle it whole-heartedly--I should definitely pick it up and give it another go. I received this book as a LibraryThing Early Reviewers advanced copy. ( )
  satxreader | Sep 8, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was an interesting read. Barbados and sugar cane - not topics I was familiar with so I really enjoyed being pulled into a whole new world. There were a lot of family to try and track during the read and some of the relationships just didn't come across as natural to me. But definitely an interesting historical read. And can I just mention that I find myself being turned off by books that don't have an appropriate amount of white space on the pages. You know those pages that are just densely packed with words. I think it's decreasing my enjoyment of the actual book as I am noticing a pattern of having to force myself to open the book back up. Maybe it's an age (eyesight) issue, or the color of the page, or the font, or maybe it's just the book. I don't know. ( )
  Kathl33n | Sep 6, 2019 |
**I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Set under the bright sun in Barbados, Willig’s latest novel is a true winner. In 1854, Emily Dawson inherits a plantation from her beloved grandfather in Barbados. Upon arrival, Emily quickly learns that her newfound land has lots of secrets. As she delves more into these, she has to come to terms with her family’s past and the secrets that those still living wish to leave buried forever. Forty years prior to this, Charles Davenant returns to Barbados from his time in England. Finding himself with his father’s plantation and a jealous younger brother, Charles wrestles with the slavery found on his familial land, as well as his thoughts with his neighbor’s slave, Jenny.

Willig has a wonderful way to tell a story set in a different time era. I’ve read most of her works, and this I think is her best yet. She clearly does her research, providing a ten page historical note at the end, describing just a few of the resources she used to tell such a rich tale filled with sadness. Willig has a way that brings her characters to life and makes readers want to keep turning the page to find out more. She also has readers guessing until the very end, with twists in the story line and a building climax that results in a satisfying conclusion.

Five stars for this one! ( )
  librarybelle | Aug 25, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I won an early copy of this novel through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers group.

Ah, returning to a Willig novel is like returning home for me. I appreciate the voice all of her books are written in, at once setting us down in the heroine’s place and time. This one, to me, felt like there were a bigger cast of characters than in other novels. It took a bit to get names and situations down, and the beginning of the novel does a lot to dig our heels into Barbados plantation life. I loved how the middle of the story took a twist, and opened to a trial I did not see coming. The main characters are well fleshed out and all main plot points connected. This is a great summer read. ( )
  Karen.Helfrick | Aug 4, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In 1854, more than two decades after the emancipation of the Barbadian slaves, Bristol-born Emily Dawson leaves the familiarity and temperate climate of her English home for the tropical splendor and swelter of Barbados. A vicar’s daughter, Emily always assumed that she would never leave the simple surroundings in which she was raised. But when her grandfather passes away, Emily discovers that she is the heiress of a “secret” sugar plantation. ...more ( )
  K_T_C | Jul 25, 2019 |
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