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A Summer in the Country by Marcia Willett
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A Summer in the Country (edition 2004)

by Marcia Willett (Author)

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1294140,737 (3.93)6
Member:Lesley-Anne
Title:A Summer in the Country
Authors:Marcia Willett (Author)
Info:St. Martin's Paperbacks (2004), 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Forgotten Laughter aka A Summer in the Country by Marcia Willett

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I'm 10 chapters in and so far there are too many similar characters who all seem to constantly flipflop from feeling wonderful about their idyllic surroundings to feeling utter terror about their relationships. My first by this author & I just wanted a nice summer chickfic read ... hoping it gets better.
Aaaand it didn't very much. At least the ending was happy-ish, though considerably contrived for some of the characters. Think this'll be a one-off. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
What a delight this book was! I had never read any Marcia Willett books before but I can see this is a lack I will have to remedy.

There really is no main protagonist but rather 3 main characters. The story starts with Louise taking the train to Devon for a holiday while her husband golfs with buddies (or is he?) She will be staying in a vacation cottage owned by Brigid, a wife of a naval officer who is used to his long absences and rather enjoys her solitary time. For the last little while though her mother, Frummie, has been living in one of the guest cottages. Frummie abandoned Brigid and her father when Brigid was quite young and their relationship has never been warm but Frummie had nowhere else to go so Brigid took her in. Brigid's life seems pretty idyllic, especially to her half-sister, Jemima, but she has a big problem that could impact her husband's retirement and she doesn't know how to tell him. Jemima is single and seems to enjoy her lifestyle with occasional visits from her married lover. Then she falls in love and her world is turned upside down. How these three women interact and help solve each other's dilemmas is an intriguing story. It reminded me a lot of the best of Maeve Binchy but I think Willett has even better descriptions of the countryside. I felt like I was on the moors and at the seashore in Devon.

My one quibble with the writing is the overuse of the word "whilst". Sometimes it would appear 2 or 3 times on a page. Maybe English use the word more than North Americans but it seemed excessive to me. But that's a minor problem in an overall great book. Thanks again mississippimom. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 9, 2017 |
so boring. the characters are sufficiently developed, but nothing interesting happens to them. you can see the resolution coming from miles away, and everything ties up nicely. a great book for those who don't like any challenge of any kind. ( )
  Darth-Heather | May 31, 2016 |
The first time I read this novel, I thought it long-winded with too many flashbacks. However, on re-reading recently I enjoyed it considerably more. It's about Brigid, a middle-aged woman who isn't really looking forward to her husband's retirement, and Louise, who is pretty sure her partner is being unfaithful to her. Louise also has a traumatic secret in her past, and Brigid has a looming financial problem, which she doesn't want to tell her husband about.

These main characters are sympathetic and likeable, and there are some other delightful people in the book, including one or two who have also appeared in earlier novels by Marcia Willetts. I did find one or two of the characters rather unlikely - particularly Louise's partner, who appears to undergo a total transformation part-way through - but overall I thought it a good light read. Recommended to anyone who enjoys character-driven gentle novels. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
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Author's website gives title as "Forgotten Laughter", with note that it was published in the USA as "A Summer in the Country".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312997159, Mass Market Paperback)

Marcia Willett’s previous novel, A Week in Winter, her first to be published in the United States, received a rousing welcome from readers and reviewers alike. Her new novel, A Summer in the Country, introduces an equally beguiling cast of characters whose lives become intricately entwined at Foxhole, a charming and cozy country house on the wild edges of the Devon moors.

Brigid Foster has inherited Foxhole from her father, and has created two guest cottages, which she rents during the holidays to tourists. Brigid’s delight at welcoming Louise Parry, one of her regular summer visitors, is tempered by the irritating presence of Brigid’s monumentally judgmental mother, Frummie. Having abandoned Foxhole (and Brigid) forty years earlier, Frummie makes no secret of her disdain for the glorious natural splendor of her surroundings, nor of her preference for Brigid’s flightly but fabulous half-sister, Jemima. Jemima, meanwhile, has problems of her own.

When a stranger begins lurking in the isolated byways of the lonely countryside, Brigid turns to her oddly elusive father-in-law for comfort and protection. But both Brigid and Louise Parry are hiding certain essential facts, and each woman’s fragile sense of haven and security is threatened by disclosure. A Summer in the Country is the story of the enduring, but often painful love that exists between mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives. It describes with exquisite sensitivity and tenderness the precarious journey each of us undertakes as one generation makes way for the next, as each indelible and priceless relationship grows, changes, blossoms, or dies. Marcia Willett writes novels that will last.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:16 -0400)

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Domestic relationships. Follow-up to A week in winter.

(summary from another edition)

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