The Summer Country

The Summer Country

A Novel

Large Print - 2019
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"Tense, atmospheric, and gorgeously written, The Summer Country is a novel to savor!" - Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network

A brilliant, multigenerational saga in the tradition of The Thorn Birds and North and South, New York Times bestselling historical novelist Lauren Willig delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet--a sweeping Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Barbados, 1854: Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous English merchant clan-- merely a vicar's daughter, and a reform-minded vicar's daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family's lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day. But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados--a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned.

When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts.

Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins? Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills? The answer lies in the past-- a tangled history of lies, greed, clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.

THE SUMMER COUNTRY will beguile readers with its rendering of families, heartbreak, and the endurance of hope against all odds.

Publisher: New York, NY :, HarperLuxe,, [2019]
Edition: Large print edition, First HarperLuxe edition
Copyright Date: ♭2019
ISBN: 9780062912299
Characteristics: 722 pages


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Jun 09, 2019

Barbados in the early 1800’s and in the mid-1800s went from slavery to emancipation. This was a time when women took a supportive role, yet Willig has made strong females the main characters of a family saga. When Emily is left a run-down sugar cane plantation, she and her cousin and wife leave England to visit Barbados. Moving back and forth between the story of a female slave and Emily, the reader learns only about Emily’s history. It’s a satisfying historical novel and will make me see Barbados differently when I visit the country again. (LibraryThing review copy)

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Apr 01, 2019

This is a bit of a departure for Lauren Willig, in terms of being a totally new setting -- 19th century Barbados -- and also, I think, in terms of being a bit more of a slow read than her books normally tend to be. She uses her typical dual-timeline format which, while it leads to some satisfying connections between characters that aren't apparent at the outset, also slows down the pace a bit and makes it kind of hard to keep track of who everyone is. This is incredibly well-researched and she really does a deep dive into the politics of slavery and class and interracial relationships (in as much as any sort of relationship can exist on equal footing between two people when one of them is enslaved), and I really admire the ambitious scope of the novel. I ended it finding it all very satisfying, but it requires patience.

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