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February Book Club.....Summertime

(108 Posts)
gma Mon 26-Jan-15 17:51:28

Lovely surprise this morning when my copy of Summertime arrived, and a Hard Back too!!
Look forward to reading this book, but must finish The Minaturist first!!
Many thanks Gransnet, it brightened up a dull Monday morning!Look forward to posting my comments!!

Buddie Sun 01-Feb-15 13:12:31

Thank you for my lovely (hardback) copy of Summertime. It sounds really intriguing and enjoy reading stories based on an element of fact. Just one chapter of my present book to finish and I can make a start. Can't wait.

gillogg Sun 01-Feb-15 16:02:23

Thank you for the lovely copy of Summertime which was waiting for me when I got back from holiday.As I had read all my book stash whilst away, I can dive straight in and enjoy !

grandma60 Sun 01-Feb-15 19:23:14

Just read the 1st chapter of Summertime and can't wait to pick it up again. Thank you Gransnet.

gma Sun 01-Feb-15 19:40:22

Some very positive vibes coming over the ether regarding "summertime"
I have now finished 'The Miniaturist' and what a great read. I was hooked from page one!! I have visited Amsterdam (setting for the book) a couple of times and this book brought it all back, I want to,go again now.
Will settle down with Summertime tonight, might be a late night!

numberplease Sun 01-Feb-15 21:59:57

I`m about a third of the way through Summertime, and loving it.

ruthiratbag Mon 02-Feb-15 11:50:11

Enjoyed reading my copy of Summertime, as others have already stated it is a gripping read from start to finish intertwined with love , hope and determination.

GrannyGlyn Mon 02-Feb-15 22:52:03

Thank you for my copy. A lovely surprise.
I have only read the first chapter and I didn't realise that I was holding my breath until the end of it. Can't wait to get back into it!

numberplease Mon 02-Feb-15 23:51:07

Only about 100 pages to go now, it`s been a great read.

Gagagran Tue 03-Feb-15 11:45:20

I know that this book is based on factual happenings and the writing is wonderfully descriptive of the power of nature. The characters are well drawn and the story is full of tension and the horrors of war and also segregation and all the injustice associated with that.

I like books which give me insights and this one certainly does. It is a thought provoking read and hard to think that the author now lives in Wiltshire which must feel like a million miles from Florida!

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 03-Feb-15 16:35:57

Any Wiltshire based gransnetters may be interested to know that Vanessa will be taking part in a discussion evening about the book. It's in aid of the Brighter Futures radiotherapy appeal for the Great Western Hospital. Entry is free and refreshments are being sold for the charity.

Details here -

7th March 7-9pm
St John’s School theatre, Marlborough
Free entry – but ticket needed from White Horse Bookshop
Refreshments on sale to benefit Great Western Hospital’s radiotherapy appeal
Please send questions/discussion topics in advance to the White Horse Bookshop [email protected]
All welcome – and that includes men too!

mbody Tue 03-Feb-15 18:42:27

Excellent book, great, interesting read which held me gripped. The descriptions of the way of life and the storm itself were brilliant and the fact it is based on real happenings made it all the more exciting. Thank you very much for a most enjoyable few reading days!

shysal Thu 05-Feb-15 08:28:30

I finished this book this morning at 6 o'clock. It has been a gripping read, very difficult to put down. I know it has been compared to 'The Help', but I found it vastly superior. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read the story.
I would like to ask Vanessa whether any of her family has recounted to her any of their experiences from the time of segregation. I was horrified to read of the treatment of war veterans, and that 'coloureds' were refused entry to shelters in the real-life hurricane on Labour Day.

Milly Thu 05-Feb-15 10:49:35

I have jus finished "Summertime" and I feel (SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAE NOT YET FINISHED THIS BOOK) exhausted and buffeted by the tsunami type ending, although this was made slightly better by finding some of the characters alive.
The writing was so vivid that I was living it with them.
This came as a shock after the interesting story leading up to it.
Very clever of the Author to take a factual event and turn it into
a fictional book.
Definitely a book ready to be made into a film.
Thank you Gransnet for my copy.

numberplease Thu 05-Feb-15 16:14:18

A truly wonderful read.

Frannygranny Thu 05-Feb-15 22:09:27

Excellent book. Superb build up to the storm with great characterisations. I really felt I was there sharing it all with them.

SuzC Fri 06-Feb-15 10:12:31

An absolutely brilliant book. I completely got 'into' it. A really vivid and compelling read. Thank you Gransnet for my copy - I will now share this with my Mum, as I do with all the books I am lucky enough to get from you - still an avid reader at the age of 82!

cathisherwood Fri 06-Feb-15 12:56:07

What an interesting book. The plight of the veterans is surely another shameful well kept secret in Americas past. I am pleased that although the book is based on fact all the characters are fictional as I hate it when authors characterise real people who have no way of commenting on how they have depicted.
The force of the storm was devastating and I would like to ask Vanessa if she ever felt scared by hurricanes she experienced while living in Florida
I would also like to thank her for including the further reading appendix - it was such an fascinating event and deserves to be more widely known about.
Can I also ask what she intends researching for her next book - cant wait

harrigran Fri 06-Feb-15 16:29:48

I finished Summertime this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have read The Help too but found this book far superior.
I was filled with horror at the treatment of the veterans and also the way that the black community were refused help in their hour of need. The characters were so well described I could picture how they looked from Missy and Henry to Hilda and Nathan.
The book started with an alligator making off with the baby Nathan but poor child, worse was to come.
The description of the veterans camp was so vivid that at times I felt I could practically smell it.
When I first picked up the book I could hear "summertime" from Porgy and Bess in my mind but soon realised, unlike the song, the living was not easy.
Thank you for the opportunity to read this thought provoking book and will be passing it on to my sister.

nonnanna Sat 07-Feb-15 19:05:05

Gransnet, thank you. A brilliant book. Full of descriptions that filled my head with the characters, places and events taking places. A social study of life in the South, the black/white divide and apartheid all woven into a great tale set around actual historical events. It has inspired me to find out more about the veterans. Like cathisherwood I am keen to know what Vanessa Lafaye is having published next.

glammanana Sun 08-Feb-15 14:04:54

harrigran my thoughts exactly George Gershwin came to mind looking at the wonderful cover of the book and Ella Fitzgerald singing the song.
I loved the book and will not say any more so as not to spoil it for other people who have not finished it. Excellent read Vanessa congratulations.

gma Sun 08-Feb-15 22:03:41

What a terrific book! Summertime has been my best read for ages. The tangled lives of the inhabitants of Herons Key are cruelly exposed by the great tsunami of 1935. Vanessa LaFaye has written such a well researched book which thoroughly deserves all the praise which it is receiving. I often judge a book which I have just finished by wanting to know what happened next, and I most certainly do!! Any chance Vanessa? Thank you gransnet for choosing such a great book for February and thank you to Vanessa for writing it.

Annie29 Mon 09-Feb-15 20:49:11

What a great read, thank you.
Hard to put this book down. I liked the fact it was based around a true story.
Will look out for more books written by this author. Have passed book to Mum to read.

loopylou Tue 10-Feb-15 08:19:45

Absolutely engrossing book, you can feel the atmosphere of oppression and the tensions between the characters are so vivid.
Best book I've read in ages.

rocketstop Tue 10-Feb-15 08:29:29

Thank you Gransnet for this book. It was a great read, what can I add to what other reviewers on here have said ?
I am so glad Missy survived when I thought she had not ! It was done in such a good way, not slushy or cliched, but crisp, deep and colourful. I loved the range of emotions that Vanessa got in there from the old magic entwined with deep mistrust and yet joy and hope. Wonderful book.

cikada Tue 10-Feb-15 17:27:02

I just received my book, thank you so much! I shall start reading it tonight.