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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!!

gillogg Wed 11-Feb-15 10:07:50

I thoroughly enjoyed this very gripping book. The characters were so well drawn that you really cared about what happened to them. Based on a true story of the Thirties,it really brought home the terrible treatment of the black community,many of whom had served in the Great War and had received better treatment in foreign countries than they did at home. The description of the hurricane was so vivid that you could almost 'see' the action as it unfolded and you were certainly kept guessing about the fate of the main characters. I would thoroughly recommend this book.

trisher Wed 11-Feb-15 13:10:39

A great read! I worried about the characters, Missie, Henry and Doc especially. I was shocked by the way the veterans were treated. The progress of the hurricane was totally gripping. It was one of those books I didn't want to put down, but also I didn't want to finish, it was so absorbing.The atmosphere of the area and the time is painted so vividly you really feel you are there.

northernfi Thu 12-Feb-15 07:30:38

This is the kind of book that I might glance at in a shop on my way to the crime section so thanks so much book club for giving me the opportunity to find out what I would have missed.
The story really is gripping - I've been carrying the book with me to snatch moments to find out what happens next. The writing is very atmospheric and Vanessa has created characters that we do care about. It really is a page-turner.
The history is skilfully woven into this fictional account and like many other readers, I was shocked that I knew nothing of the plight of the veterans.
An excellent read.

goose1964 Thu 12-Feb-15 09:45:59

I've started reading it & can't believe how well it evokes the time & place

merlotgran Thu 12-Feb-15 14:41:12

I think Summertime is an excellent book. I knew nothing of the Labor Day hurricane and will now do some research to learn more. There are certainly some parallels to be drawn with Hurricane Katrina. Although we are in the UK I think it's a shame that there have been no films, documentaries or dramas covering this event in American history - at least none that I know of.


Just one question.... I expected Henry to survive but I wondered if there would be any backlash because he'd abducted Jimmy when making his escape. Dwayne thought his nephew was out of harm's way and not heading back into danger.

As Henry was mostly responsible for their fate, were you not tempted to let Jimmy live as well?

Thanks for a great read.

audnay Thu 12-Feb-15 18:28:21

Can I be really cheeky and ask did all of SUMMERTIME go, because I did wonder if there was any left can I please have one. if not it will teach me to read the book page earlier and I might be lucky.

I did buy the Gransnet Survival book it has just arrived, have opened it and looked at it and thought yes I will read it probably over the weekend.

Rosannie Thu 12-Feb-15 20:03:42

Summertime was a compelling read, beautifully written and skilfully crafted to create a great sense of anticipation of the disasters that occurred. .
I loved the tension of the town celebration at the beginning of the book acted out against the backdrop or the gathering storm. Tensions and pressure built up to the dramatic climax which shattered the town, the prejudices and many lives.
Did Vanessa have any personal link to the veterans and did she gather any personal testimonies of life in those times?
I loved the book. One of the best yet from Book Club - thank you!

katesheilaskate Sat 14-Feb-15 19:12:12

Love this book. Such a great sense of time and place. Really good depiction of how things were. Glad attitudes have changed so much during our lifetimes, but still some distance to go, I fear. Well done Vanessa. Looking forward to your next one.

numberplease Sat 14-Feb-15 21:36:51

I`d like a follow up to this one, would love to know how their lives progressed. Any chance Vanessa?

keriku Sun 15-Feb-15 12:53:39

A fabulous book. It was so hard to believe that almost 20 years after WWI, that men were still struggling to find work and being treated so disgustingly. The whole concept that the white folk would trust the coloured help with their homes and children, yet not be able to support them in return was heartbreaking! This book swept me up like a tornado, for the first time in years, I read the entire book in one day. The tornado didn't care what colour their skin was-what an incredible book. Highly recommended.

pamelaJEAN Mon 16-Feb-15 14:25:18

I get so excited when the postman knocks on the door with a new read. This book did not disappoint .... Summertime was a great read , found it very difficult to put down.... left me wanting more.... hopefully there is a followup .

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 16-Feb-15 16:16:05


Can I be really cheeky and ask did all of SUMMERTIME go, because I did wonder if there was any left can I please have one. if not it will teach me to read the book page earlier and I might be lucky.

I did buy the Gransnet Survival book it has just arrived, have opened it and looked at it and thought yes I will read it probably over the weekend.

I'm afraid they were all snapped up - a lot more people enter the draw than we have books for so winners are chosen at random. But you are in luck - check the home page for the giveaway for the March book which has just been launched today

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 16-Feb-15 16:17:42

By the way - we are loving all the comments. Do add any questions you have for Vanessa over the next week or so - she will be answering them towards the end of the month

Rosannie Mon 16-Feb-15 19:06:17

I always thought the gift of a beautiful, well chosen newly published book was to enable gransnetters to provide questions and constructive reviews to the author and the publishers.
I think that if we receive a book, we should make an effort to read it, review it and ask a question.
It must be frustrating to receive so many statements about the joy of the postman calling with a free book!
Or am I just being a grumpy gran?

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 16-Feb-15 21:22:20

Rosannie - when it comes to book club - yes absolutely - we do specify that anyone applying for a book must be able to read it within a certain timescale and prepared to eave their comments and/or questions on the thread. We are delighted so many have already done so here - but are looking forward to reading more from others who've not yet had chance to post as well.

With regular giveaways - yes, reviews are always very much appreciated and ditto any comments about the book. I've seen several today and it's really good to be able to pass this lovely feedback on to the publisher

Rosannie Mon 16-Feb-15 22:59:06

Yep,I'm a grumpy gran! Got it off my chest now and looking forward to sharing the lovely comments about Summertime smile

merlotgran Tue 17-Feb-15 13:32:29

I found this very interesting but don't look unless you have finished the book.

Some good photos which compliment the author's vivid description of the devastation.

shysal Tue 17-Feb-15 15:39:32

Thanks merlot, very close to the story in the book!

nonnasusie Wed 18-Feb-15 16:06:44

Just received my copy of Summertime. I look forward to starting it tonight!!

Venus Thu 19-Feb-15 17:49:44

I haven't quite finished the book and find it very hard to put down.

The interaction between the white and black characters is riveting. Except for the doctor, the white people are depicted as cruel and callous, whereas the black ones gain our sympathy. Because these events are factual, it brings it home to the reader what the veterans endured at this time.

inishowen Thu 19-Feb-15 18:19:42

This book was brilliant. I couldn't put it down. I found the topic so interesting, having once got caught in a tropical storm while in Florida. Of course the hurricane in the story was something else. It surprised me to learn that the veterans were not as well treated as they deserved. It didn't surprise me that the black people were locked out of the shelter. That was shocking but we know they were considered to be second class in those days. All in all, a well written and engaging story.

Lotie Thu 19-Feb-15 18:51:08

Thank you very much for this book. Readers living around Marlborough might be interested to hear that Vanessa is down to appear at Swindon Festival Of Literature in May. I shall definitely be buying a ticket to see her.

kyalami Thu 19-Feb-15 20:07:10

Summertime is such a good read. You can almost imagine being there.
How long did it take Vanessa to research her facts for the book?
Is there still much evidence in the Florida Keys area today as a reminder of the war veterans & how they had to re-adjust & were they eventually assisted?

nannabo Fri 20-Feb-15 08:44:34

I have just finished Summertime. It was an excellent book really drew you in with the characters looking forward to reading more in the future. I love receiving books of the month and have not been disappointed yet Thanks Gransnet

Funnygran Fri 20-Feb-15 17:09:12

When I started this book last week I had the feeling that I wasn't going to get into it. Then 'wow', I couldn't put it down and was picking it up whenever I had some spare time. The last few chapters particularly really seemed to gather the reader into the drama of the hurricane and the fate of the characters. If there is one little niggle, there seems to be an awful lot of similes (think that's the right term thinking back to O level English) and I kept waiting for another one to appear! But it's a great book and I hope there's a 2nd novel on the cards.