Hello Kittens! I have got a treat of a book for you today. I can’t even hide my Southern bias here, but this is a book that is going to make you want to sip sweet tea on a porch swing on a hot day. Susan Crandall is a well-established author (you may remember her for Whistling Past the Graveyard) and she has definitely upped her game for this book, which will be coming out in a couple of days on the 19th.
Title: The Myth of Perpetual Summer
Author: Susan Crandall
Author website: http://susancrandall.net/
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish date: 06/19/18
I read Susan Crandall’s Whistling Past the Graveyard in a book club that I was leading a few years back, and it was pretty much universally loved. While Crandall stays firmly in Southern territory, this novel was a step above Whistling in terms of the subject matter and the depth of the characters.
The Myth of Perpetual Summer is the story of Tallulah Mae James and her family, set in Mississippi in the late 1950s. Tallulah is a young child growing up in the shadow of the James family legacy, a Southern family with seemingly deep roots in their town of Lamoyne, MS. But while appearances matter immensely to Tallulah’s Gran, Tallulah herself tries to be a little more practical about her family’s problems. She and her three siblings, an older brother and two younger fraternal twins, are constantly dealing with their volatile parents and the pressures of living in a small Southern town. These pressures come to a head the Fall of 1963 when her brother is arrested for murder.
We are introduced to Tallulah initially several years in the future in 1972 when she is preparing to return to Lamoyne because her other brother is being charged with murder. We learn that she has built a new life for herself and that she is living in California because of an event from her past that forced her to flee. We spend the rest of the story hopping back and forth in time, piecing the rest of the story together.
Tallulah is a strong character and seeing her development and growth in the face of unimaginable circumstances is inspiring. There are several moments in this story that will make you question whether she can truly count on anyone other than herself. This story destroyed me and then built me back up again. It’s the type of Southern family story that rings so true, you’ll want to pass this book along to your family with the comment, “Remind you of anyone?”
The writing is authentic and clear. I would have loved to get more backstory on what happened with Walden, and the epilogue came way too soon for my taste, but this story was an exquisite read. I highly recommend this one to anyone looking for their next good read.
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader copy of this book from the publisher/BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review.
5 glasses of lemonade= you could recommend this book to anyone. There is nothing in here that is going to upset anyone and you could start handing it out on street corners. (This kind of book is a Librarian’s dream. As much as we love good literature, suggesting a book for someone can be nerve-wracking work that can backfire BIG TIME.)