My enormous thanks to Melanie Price for inviting me to be part of the launch celebrations for Summer of Love by Caro Fraser. I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Caro to Linda’s Book Bag today to stay in with me and tell tell me about her latest book.
Staying in with Caro Fraser
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Caro. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve brought along my latest novel, Summer Of Love, which comes out in hardback in a couple of months, and is a sequel to The Summer House Party, which was published last spring – when I finished the first book I realised that the characters and story still had so much life in them, and I had such good feedback from readers that I just had to carry on the story.
The Summer House Party opens in August 1936, with a group of guests gathering at the country home of a famous artist and his wife; certain events occur during that fortnight which have repercussions for the guests through the war years and beyond, and Summer Of Love tells how the events of that summer continue to haunt the lives of people who were children then, and carries the story through the 1950s and ‘60s.
(I love it when characters take on a life of their own and insist that authors write their story further Caro!)
What can we expect from an evening in with Summer Of Love?
I’m a storyteller first and foremost, and I like to think Summer Of Love is the kind of immersive, compelling read you’d want to settle down with on a beach with a nice pina colada, or on a dark winter’s evening with a large glass of red! As it’s set in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, with all the huge social and cultural changes that were happening in post-war Britain in those times, I’ve tried to evoke the feel of that period, and to reflect those changes in the stories of the two central characters, Laura Fenton and Avril Haddon, whose lives are connected in a way that neither of them realises.
(The early 60s is my era so I can’t wait to read Summer of Love.)
One review of The Summer House Party called it ‘a solid summer read, ideal to take on holiday’, and if anyone says the same about Summer Of Love, I’ll know I’ve done my job!
(Both books sound exactly my kind of read.)
I write to entertain my readers, and keep them turning the pages. Another reviewer said, ‘There are unanswered questions at the end of [The Summer House Party] … and I’m looking forward to jumping a few years and enjoying these characters as they grow and age.’ So she should enjoy Summer Of Love. I’ve ended the book at a point where I hope it has a satisfactory conclusion, but it still has great potential for the story to carry on through the next generation into the ‘70s and 80s. So a third book may be in the offing…!
(Woo – I know your readers will be delighted to hear that Caro!)
What else have you brought along and why?
I’ve brought along a few pieces of music that I think perfectly capture the spirit of Summer Of Love. The first half of the book is set in the 1950s, and one of the main characters in is Ellis Candy, a jazz saxophonist, so the haunting sax solo by Stan Getz from the song Corcodavo makes the perfect musical backdrop.
(That’s a gorgeous piece of music. I love it. Blog readers can listen too by clicking on the song titles.)
The second half of the book is set in the ‘60s, when Love Me Do by the Beatles turned the tide of music forever, so we’ll have a listen to that – as well as Georgie Girl by The Seekers, because it’s a song that summons up the exhilaration of being young and female in those exciting times. My character Laura would definitely identify with it!
(I’m sure she would – and so do I – even if I am showing my age!)
Caro, thank you so much for staying in with me to chat all about Summer of Love. I think it looks a wonderful book and I can’t wait to read it.
Summer of Love
The dark days of the war are over, but the family secrets they held are only just dawning.
In the hot summer of 1949, a group of family and friends gather at Harry Denholm’s country house in Kent. Meg and Dan Ranscombe, emerging from a scandal of their own making; Dan’s godmother, Sonia; and her two young girls, Laura and Avril, only one of whom is Sonia’s biological daughter. Amongst the heat, memories, and infatuations, a secret is revealed to Meg’s son, Max, and soon a terrible tragedy unfolds that will have consequences for them all.
Afterwards, Avril, Laura and Max must come of age in a society still reeling from the war, haunted by the choices of that fateful summer. Cold, entitled Avril will go to any lengths to take what is hers. Beautiful, naive Laura finds refuge and love in the London jazz clubs, but Max, with wealth and unrequited love, has the capacity to undo it all.
Summer of Love is available for purchase here.
About Caro Fraser
Caro Fraser is the author of the bestselling Caper Court novels, based on her own experiences as a lawyer. She is the daughter of Flashman author George MacDonald Fraser and lives in London.
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