Every summer, a list comes out with the summer must reads.
Included in this list is Lauren Willig’s new novel, That Summer.
Ms. Willig, as she did in the Ashford Affair, intertwines two different time periods.
In 2009, Julia Conley inherits a country house in England from a recently deceased great aunt whom she does not remember. Her mother died in a car crash when she was young. After all of these years, even when she was raised in the United States, Julia still has nightmares about her mother’s death. In 1849, Imogen Grantham has been married to the much older Arthur Grantham for ten years. Unable to have children of her own and trapped in an unhappy marriage, Imogen treasures the relationship with her now teenage stepdaughter. Imogen’s world is turned upside down when she has an ill fated affair with the artist whom her husband hired to paint her portrait.
I liked this book, for the most part. What Ms. Willig does very well as a writer (which many writers cannot do) is to travel between two different time periods and two different sets of characters while keeping the narrative engaging and fluid. My only criticism about this book is that the ending came out of nowhere and felt rushed. While I enjoyed this book, I enjoyed The Ashford Affair a little more.
Do I recommend this book? Maybe.