Now, I’ve tried to stick to my blog tour sabbatical as much as possible this year, but when Alainna at Orion got in touch to see if I’d like to take part in Fanny Blake’s tour for A Summer Reunion all resolve flew out of the window. I’ve long loved Fanny Blake’s writing from way before I began blogging and having met the author last year (see here) when I had a complete fan-girl moment I am thrilled to be part of the launch celebrations for this latest book: A Summer Reunion.
It’s far too long since I reviewed a Fanny Blake novel, the last being Our Summer Together in a post you can read here.
A Summer Reunion was published on 13th June 2019 by Orion and is available for purchase through these links.
A Summer Reunion
One perfect villa, four old friends, and a holiday that will change everything…
Amy, Linda, Kate and Jane were best friends at school. Now, years later, they have grown apart. When Amy discovers her husband has been stealing from her successful interiors business, and with a milestone birthday looming, she decides it is the time to reach out to her old friends once again.
So, she decides to invite the other three to her beautiful villa in Mallorca for a reunion weekend. As the four friends gather, secrets are unearthed, old scores settled and new friendships forged. Will this holiday bring them together or tear them apart? And will each of them grasp their second chance for happiness…?
My Review of A Summer Reunion
Gathering old school friends for a Mallorcan reunion may not be plain sailing.
What a joy to return to Fanny Blake’s writing, not least when one of the characters has the same first name as me so that I felt instantly engaged (even if I wasn’t terribly sympathetic towards Linda to start with)! In A Summer Reunion, Fanny Blake demonstrates again just how perceptive she is about more mature women and their lives, hopes and dreams making A Summer Reunion such a satisfying read.
Although all four women, Amy, Jane, Kate and Linda, are equally well represented and defined, I thought it was inspired to contrast Amy’s narrative through the first person with the third person for the others because she is the initial catalyst for all the action. I also thought Dan’s presence added depth and balance to the women when the other male characters are mainly off scene.
Baldly, the plot sounds quite prosaic as four women spend a few days together and reminisce about the past but my goodness that doesn’t do justice to the events, themes and personalities that shimmer through the narrative. There are lies and deception, love and passion, menace and memory so that I never quite knew how the events from the past might be resolved. I thoroughly enjoyed the level of mystery and I really wanted Jane to have a terrible comeuppance, but you’ll need to read the book to see why I had that reaction and if it worked out as I’d hoped.
However, aside from the plot which I so enjoyed, it’s the glorious quality of Fanny Blake’s writing that is so appealing. The use of the senses to evoke Mallorca, the naturalistic dialogue that conveys friends chatting, the small details that bring a scene alive, all blend to make a smooth and pleasurable reading experience. Reading A Summer Reunion felt a little bit like a homecoming. I empathised with the characters. I could see traits of myself in their personalities. I wanted to be beside the pool with them in Amy’s villa and I had my own ideas about a certain artist, but I won’t spoil the plot by saying more…
A Summer Reunion is a smashing book. I loved the underlying message that, although our past may have shaped who we are in the present, it doesn’t have to define our future and I finished reading feeling uplifted and content. A Summer Reunion is the perfect holiday read. I can only hope there will be more about all four women in the future!
About Fanny Blake
Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as ghost writer for a number of celebrities, and is also Books Editor of Woman & Home magazine. She has written seven novels, including House of Dreams and Our Summer Together.
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