Saturday 19 July 2014

The Summer Son by Craig Lancaster

When Mitch Quillen's life begins to unravel, he fears there is no escape. His marriage and his career are both failing, and his relationship with his father has been a disaster for decades. Approaching forty, Mitch doesn't want to become a middle-aged statistic. When his estranged father, Jim, suddenly calls, Mitch's wife urges him to respond. Ready for a change, Mitch heads to Montana and a showdown that will alter the course of his life. Amid a backdrop of rugged peaks and valleys, the story unfolds: a violent episode that triggered the rift, thirty years of miscommunication, and the possibility of misplaced blame. Craig Lancaster follows his award-winning debut, 600 Hours of Edward, with a powerful novel that invites readers into a family where conflict and secrets prevail, and where hope for healing and redemption is possible.


The Summer Son 


Mitch receives some confusing phone calls from his Dad Jim and decides to visit him in Montana to find out what's wrong. They've had a difficult relationship since 1979; Mitch's parents were divorced and he would spend every summer with his Dad and older brother Jerry who worked for him. During that fateful summer Mitch was sent home early by Jim and it has affected their father son relationship ever since, by the end of the story we know the reason why. The story moves between 2007 and the summer of 1979 and gradually we discover more things and some family secrets are revealed. Mitch and his wife Cindy, who have four year old twins, have been having marital problems and while seeing his Dad it also gives him a chance to think, away from the family home.


The Summer Son is very different to and a much more serious novel than two of the author's others that I loved; 600 Hours Of Edward and Edward Adrift, but I'm pleased to say it was equally as good as both of those. I've been struggling a bit with reading recently but The Summer Son has got me back on track again. I could relate to certain parts of the story as I'm sure a lot of people will be able to and I finished it in two days. The ending, when it came, was something I never would have guessed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


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