Probably the most beautiful looking book I've ever read! The cover is just gorgeous and inside there are scrolly flowers on the first few pages enticing you in to this delightful book!
Beth gets an unexpected phone call from her father to say that he's coming to visit her which is very out of character for him and their relationship. When he turns up he hands her a parcel on which she recognises the writing but is totally adamant that she does not want to see what is inside! She argues with him and sends her father away yet when he goes the parcel is left behind. Eventually she opens it and discovers that her long-estranged Mother has passed away but her Mother's partner Zoltan has sent her a scrapbook that she had put together.
It contained photos and keepsakes and many wonderful memories from the seven summers they spent together following her parents splitting up when her Mom decided that she needed to move back to her home country Hungary. These memories sparked her interest and got her thinking of these amazing times that she had in Hungary with her Mother and Zoltan but it also drudged up the reasons why she then lost touch which brought up all the love, hurt and anger all over again!
What a glorious book this was to read! The way that Emylia Hall writes paints an intense, bright and colourful picture of Hungary that makes the place come alive.
Her descriptions of food made you want to devour the meal that had been placed on the table, you could smell the delicious cooking aromas wafting before your nose and imagine yourself sat at the same table with this dysfunctional family enjoying the very precious time that they spent together.
You could understand and feel every single one of Beth's emotions as she battled internally with the intense love she felt for both of her parents and how she coped with growing into adulthood and coping with two separate lives. She tried to protect her father while at the same time being infatuated with and totally in awe of her mother.
With quite a twist towards the end, which was most unexpected, it kept the plot fresh and extremely interesting. I completely lost myself to this book, it was a wonderful read and I felt emotionally exhausted by the end. And I think that's the sign of a fabulous book!
Emylia Hall was born in 1978 and grew up in the Devon countryside. She was the daughter of an English artist and Hungarian quilt-maker. After studying at York University and in Lausanne, Switzerland, Emylia spent five years working in a London advertising agency before moving to the French Alps. It was while she was there that she began to write. Emylia now lives in Bristol with her husband who is also an author. The Book Of Summers is inspired by evocative memories of her own childhood days spent in rural Hungary.
You can find out more about Emylia Hall at www.EmyliaHall.com
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