It is 2009: When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it's a joke. She hasn't been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six, an event she remembers only in her nightmares. But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house - with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas - bits of memory start coming back. And then she discovers a pre-Raphaelite painting, hidden behind the false back of an old wardrobe, and a window onto the house's shrouded history begins to open....
In 1849 Imogen Grantham has spent nearly a decade trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, Arthur. The one bright spot in her life is her step-daughter, Evie, a high-spirited 16-year-old who is the closest thing to a child Imogen hopes to have. But everything changes when three young painters come to see Arthur's collection of medieval artifacts, including Gavin Thorne, a quiet man with the unsettling ability to read Imogen better than anyone ever has. When Arthur hires Gavin to paint her portrait, none of them can guess what the hands of fate have set in motion.
From modern-day England to the early days of the Preraphaelite movement, Lauren Willig's That Summer takes listeners on an un-put-downable journey through a mysterious old house, a hidden love affair, and one woman’s search for the truth about her past - and herself.
©2014 Lauren Willig (P)2014 Macmillan Audio
Because I read a lot of books, I tend to encounter very similar plots. However, this one kept me guessing and I, like the main characters, enjoy a good puzzle, so it was fun following them through their logic and research as they fitted the pieces together.
A captivating and entertaining read, capturing the suppression and hypocrisy of Victorian England as well as the insecurities and complexities of life and relationships today.
Anglophile. Prefer only British fiction and mysteries. Good translations of Italian, too.
Yes, in the beginning, but then I lost interest and did not finish. The opening had so much promise, but then it faltered. Too much back history and not enough character development of the main character If she was so smart as a financial analyst, let us learn why she is so naive and stupid in her interpersonal relationships.
Mostly expected. Again, I did not read all the way because I like smart heroines to be smart heroines.
It was okay enough. I thought the voice used for the americans was pretty lame and shrill. The British voices were better performed.
I was sad that this book just petered out in a slow and boring way. There was so much promise in the beginning. I wish some of the peripheral characters had been more fully developed to add a richness to the plot and prose. Natalie was interesting, despite the set-up scenes, but ...
It stretches credibility that the main character would be so smart and yet she can't talk straight and then lets "the man" take over. This is not realistic or even pleasing to read. If you set a book up as having a smart woman, then follow through. The era of the stupid female must surely be almost over.
I love Sci-Fi, Fantasy Adventure, ...
It is not the same depth of a Pink Carnation story. But I liked it. A quick read (listen). I liked the characters in both time lines.
I found myself so engrossed in this book. Willing does it again! This book was every bit as good as her Pink Carnation books. The progression was good and the characters were believable and lovable.
My sister-in-law recommended this one, and I'm so glad I listened. The beginning was a tad slow, and I wasn't sure where the plot was going, but when it picked up, I was consumed.
Perfect for readers/listeners who enjoy books with dual timelines, mystery, and a bittersweet love story.
Story was interesting if a bit typical with the flashbacks between 2009 and 1840's. Slow start but it eventually got interesting and i was looking forward to seeing how the author tied back the modern day main character to her ancestors but that really didnt happen enough to satisfy me. The pace was slow but steady but then it felt like author hit a wall and just wrapped it up abruptly.
No, I generally don't listen to audiobooks twice, unless years and years apart.
The merging of past and present.
I don't generally read/listen to historical fiction, but really loved this book as it flipped between 1849 and 2009. Anxiously wondering how the two were going to converge. I was glad I had a road trip so I could listen for hours at a time. This is the first book by this author I've read/listened to. I'll be sure to check out more by her.
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