How exactly would you live your life if your husband had been reported missing in action but was not declared dead? In 1948, Helen Wadsworth was lost in just such a limbo. How could she move on while still hoping Arthur will return to her and their son? But even more difficult, should she even be thinking of a life without him?
Nothing ever changed at Wauregan. That was island's purpose, its life force—and its myth. If there were questions, there were answers, either in the Rule Book devised by its founders and unaltered in half a century, or in the collective memory of its summer people.—A Certain Summer by Patricia Beard (Simon & Schuster / Gallery Books, 2013, p.1)
The colony's traditions had survived two world wars and the Great Depression, yet in the summer of 1948, undercurrents and disruptions caused by the recent conflict swirled and sucked.
- Setting: Wauregan Island off the New England coast
- Circumstances: Helen and her son return to the island, looking forward to the comfort of the summer community
- Characters: Helen and her teenage son, Jack; Frank and Peter, veterans and potential suitors; the island community
- Genre: historical fiction with a bit of mystery; some romance
- Themes: effects of war on relationships and marriage; differences between veterans and the loved ones left behind; coming to terms with loss; the magic of summer places
- Miscellaneous: although billed as women's fiction and a good summer read, the novel examines deeper issues
In this short video, Patricia Beard discusses A Certain Summer and what inspired her to write historical fiction.
Buy A Certain Summer at an indie or other bookstore near you.
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