it’s my pleasure and great honour to be today’s stop on Carol Drinkwater’s blog tour for her latest, wonderful novel, ‘The Forgotten Summer’. It’s a beautiful book you must not miss out, believe me! I would like to say massive thanks to lovely Gaby Young from Michael Joseph for the review copy and the opportunity to be part of this blog tour. Also, big thanks to brilliant Carol for video interview and to Gaby for sending. Hope you guys enjoy the interview and read on for my review.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater
Published on 11.2.2016
Genres: women's fiction
Buy on amazon.co.uk or Buy on amazon.com
Secrets ripen and fester over a long sweltering summer in France . . .
The annual grape harvest at the Cambon family's magnificent vineyard is always a cause for celebration. But not this year. When an accident destroys the crop, leaving the estate facing ruin, Clarisse Cambon knows exactly who to blame - her daughter-in-law Jane.
It's just the latest incident in a decades-long feud whose origin both women have concealed from Luc, who struggles to keep his wife and mother on speaking terms. But is Luc the saint he appears to be? When tragedy strikes, Jane is thrown into doubt. What secrets has her husband been keeping?
Forced to take charge of the ailing vineyard, Jane uncovers further proof that Luc may not be the man she fell in love with twenty years ago. And, worse still, she knows that her old enemy Clarisse is the only one who knows the truth . . .
For fans of Santa Montefiore and Victoria Hislop, The Forgotten Summer is an atmospheric tale of secrets, forbidden passion and heartbreak.
‘The Forgotten Summer’ was such an incredibly wonderful surprise! Having no expectations about the book, I dived in and was immediately hooked. Transported to beautiful, picturesque Les Cigales, meeting the Cambon family and learning about the many secrets they have was indeed one of a kind reading experience.
The book opens with yet another grape harvest on the Cambon’s French estate and we meet Clarisse, the matriarch and Luc’s mother and Jane, Luc’s wife who are everything but friendly towards each other. Luc, his mother and spinster aunt have come to France after leaving their homeland, Algeria, however it’s not until later on in the book that we find out their reason for this. They had everything in Algeria, and yet they left and came to Les Cigales, willing to start a new life without a man in the house, constantly being attacked and called witches.
Luc’s seven years older than Jane and they meet when they are very young, during a stay on which Jane accompanies her father who’s been offered a job with the Cambon’s. Despite the huge crush on Luc, it takes them years to become an item and marry secretly behind Clarisse’s back. Clarisse doesn’t approve of Jane, and even years of being married to her only son don’t change that. There was a certain event that planted this deep hate in Clarisse’s heart, an event both women can’t forget, which influences their relationship. However, Ms Drinkwater does a mighty good job in not revealing anything too early and keeping you in suspense. I must say I was dying to find out the reasons why Clarisse hates Jane so much, why they moved to France, what happened to Luc’s father?
After a tragic event, both Clarisse’s and Jane’s lives are changed forever. Many secrets will be revealed, many lies will be exposed to light. Can the Cambon women leave the past in the past, or will they be enemies forever? It’s another hot summer in France, just like the forgotten one back in 1962, the summer Cambon’s left home but not their grief and sorrow..the summer that changed everything.
‘The Forgotten Summer’ is a wonderful story full of family drama and mystery. It’s one of these books you just can’t stop reading, despite having million things to do. You simply don’t want to leave this beautiful fictional world Ms Drinkwater created. The descriptions are so vivid, you can almost smell the grapes in the harvesters hands, feel the French sun on your shoulders, feel the cool breeze after a long working day. I’ve never been to France, however this book transported me immediately and when I closed my eyes I could see the beautiful setting. It’s a wonderful feeling when an author’s style is so rich on details and so mighty good, you’re being immediately transported to a land you’ve never even visited. This happens rarely to me, and I have such a deep respect for Ms Drinkwater because of this. Her words and mastery over them managed to keep my full attention and made me read the book in one single sitting.
The characters were amazing and their history was so interesting, I couldn’t put the book down even for a second (I believe I read it cover to cover in 4-5 hours). The only thing which bothered me a bit and which is the reason for my rating is the time switching. The book opens in present, but we constantly go back in time, when Jane and Luc hooked up, met, first stay to France, etc…, but it did feel a bit confusing to me. The lack of chronology of the events did slow things down a bit for me, as I would need to go back and re-read some passages, however other than that, I absolutely enjoyed it.
Beautiful and rich writing, wonderful nature, and loads of secrets and intrigue – this book has it all. Strongly recommended to everyone looking for a good book he’ll lose itself into. Be prepared to love it. I definitely can’t wait to read more from Ms Drinkwater!