I’ve been really looking forward to reading Our Summer Together by Fanny Blake, published by Orion on 13th July. You might have seen the excellent guest post from Fanny about white water rafting on the Zambesi (you can find it again here) and the fact that it’s never too late to try something new. I just knew this would be a book for me – sheer enjoyment from beginning to end…
An uplifting story about family, friendship and the happy surprise of finding love later in life.
Caro knows how to be a mother – advising her grown-up daughters on career and relationship worries. She knows how to be a grandmother – enjoying the hectic energy of her three-year-old grandson. She knows how to be a daughter – helping her aging mother retain her independence.
She thought she knew everything about being a wife, but when her husband suddenly leaves her for another woman, everything is thrown in the air. So, when a chance meeting introduces her to Damir – younger, intriguing and attentive – she realises that opening up to a man so different from everyone else in her life, might also mean getting to know who she really is…
I do wish it wasn’t so difficult to find a book with an older character at its centre: it’s just so lovely to be able to identify with the richness of a life well lived (and ok, a few of life’s disappointments too…) and find an enchanting story that uplifts you and warms your heart with new and exciting possibilities.
I loved Caro from the start, with her husband having really done the dirty and left her in a state of uncertainty about her future. I enjoyed her love of her home, her art and teaching, the relationship with her daughters (even the difficult one…) and the expectation that she will always “help out”, her supportive friendship with her mother, her lovely little grandson, the ups and downs of her friendship with Fran… and haven’t we all experienced the disappointment of the man in corduroy trousers who isn’t really quite enough for us? (No? Just me then…!)
Her developing relationship with Damir is just perfectly drawn – the doubt that he could possibly find her attractive, the denial of her feelings, the displacement activity, and the sheer joy tempered with constant doubt as things progress. And what a wonderfully drawn character he is – gentle and sensitive, warm and loving, with a heartbreaking history slowly revealed.
I so enjoy Fanny’s writing – she has a real gift for creating characters and relationships with a feel of authenticity, her characters real people that you know. And, lest you worry, you really don’t need to be of my great age to enjoy this one – it’s a superb story of people, life and relationships, a journey of self-discovery beautifully told, which will appeal to absolutely everyone.
My thanks to Elaine Egan of Orion Books for my reading copy.
About the author
Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as ghost writer for a number of celebrities, and is also Books Editor of Woman & Home magazine. She has written seven novels, including House of Dreams and Our Summer Together.