Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Summer Country by Lauren Willig

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Lauren Willig's The Summer Country.

Emily Dawson's grandfather has died. As expected, he's left his shipping business to her cousin, Adam, the male heir of the family. Surprisingly, though, Emily has been left something as well - Peverills, a sugar cane plantation in Barbados. 

When the cousins make the trip out to the island to see the property, however, they're shocked to discover fields of long-dead plants and a main house that's been burned beyond repair. And the locals say it's been that way for almost forty years. Confused as to why her grandfather would have bought the property only to leave it in such a state, Emily is determined to learn more about her family's history and the long-buried secrets of Peverills.

Lauren Willig's latest features dark history amongst a lush and tropical setting.

The history of Barbados is an integral part of The Summer Country. And the story itself was inspired by one Willig heard on her own tour of Caribbean plantations on a trip she took a while ago. She says, in her acknowledgements, that it took her two years of research before she felt ready to tackle the project that had been percolating since that trip. And it shows! Her attention to detail and the history of the place and the era are carefully wrought and integrated into the story fluidly, making for a smooth and enthralling read.

I don't want to give too much away, but the story does alternate between Emily's trip in 1854 and Peverills in 1812 and leading up to the fall of the plantation. As Emily makes her own discoveries about her family history, the reader sees that same history unfold as it happens as well.

For me, personally, I felt Willig did a great job of building believable characters with obvious care towards paying heed to a history that many aren't aware of. And I think she's done a fair job of showing that history through the experiences of the many characters she's built for the book. She has a great historical note detailing the various resources she used in creating these characters as well as suggested further reading.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Lauren Willig and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

1 comment:

Sara Strand said...

That's a really interesting start- a dark history among a tropical setting... that's enough to get me to pick it up! Thank you for being a part of this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours