I know, I don't usually post book reviews here - there are other websites for that sort of thing. But, well, today is different. This is the last review I plan to do, and I'm going out with a bang - or at least, a book I love. Here 'tis...
Eight friends and one wife are forced into the cold darkness of grief when Rory dies. This quintessential Aussie bloke has been at the centre of their lives for years, whether they care to admit it or not, and the shock of his sudden death plunges them into new directions that they never saw coming.
His best friends face a new dynamic in their friendship group, their wives have to deal with changes in their relationships and the children try to cope with a situation of which they have little understanding. Rory’s sister is lost without him, and his wife is utterly grief-stricken.
How will they all cope? And where to from here?
Last Summer is a stunning exploration of loss, life, families and friendships.
The local cricket club (an omnipresent theme in itself) sets the scene, providing a background of competitiveness, celebration, disappointment and indifference – an intriguing combination of feelings to draw on.
We delve straight into the lives of nine people, all completely different but refreshingly devoid of cliché. Readers are guided through the day-to-day lives of these families, from the non-descript to huge, life changing events.
Last Summer begins with a punch, and within the first few pages I had laughed, cried and held my breath as I read on. The pace never falters and I found the writing and storyline literally breathtaking. Little twists and turns kept me quickly turning pages and greedily wanting more. My only complaint was that I was exhausted every day, as the book kept me awake far too late each evening!
This is Kylie Ladd’s second novel. Her first, After the Fall, met with much critical acclaim and showcased this author’s talent for observation of human nature. Her latest offering takes this further - it is written so beautifully and honestly, and she makes every single word work hard. I love the way she makes the small parts of life noteworthy and interesting, or rather, notices the small, noteworthy and interesting parts of life.
Last Summer is a must-read.
Last Summer is released today, 1 July 2011, published by Allen and Unwin. Head over here to buy your copy.