Death in Summer Paperback – 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
Death in Summer is a meloncholy story, which makes sense as the action begins with a death. Letitia, "a person of almost wayward generosity," is killed when a car strikes her bicycle. She leaves behind a husband, Thaddeus and their infant child Georgina. Letitia's death leaves a literal void--now Georgina will grow up without a mother,but she also leaves a symbolic void. Letitia's good nature and uncomplicated love towards her fellow humans is notably absent in the characters that outlive her (with the exception of Albert,whose goodness winds up being just as futile as Letitia's). Pettie, the orphaned girl who interviews for the position of nanny for Georgina, is constantly looking for father figures--older men to fill the void from her past. She falls in love with Thaddeus, but it only leads to a complicated kidnapping plot. Unlike Letitia and Albert, Pettie cannot simply love and wish the best for those she loves.Read more ›
Trevor's work is deceptive, that's certainly clear. I've become familiar with his work in the last few years, and have come to think of him as a writer who makes truly subversive use of a wide range of literary conventions. In the case of Death in Summer, it is the suspense plot he is employing. As in previous works -- I'm thinking along the lines of Felicia's Journey, "Gilbert's Mother," and "The Telephone Game," -- Trevor provides the reader enough suspense to access the characters and story, but ultimately offers a higher, more thematically rich set of conflicts to take its place. The suspense is meant only to assist.
This will lose (judging from the reviews) certain kinds of readers. I can imagine it's frustrating to first and foremost want plot, but to be given theme as your main concern instead. But even that is not a fair description of Death in Summer.
Trevor alerts the reader in the first chapter as to the real substance of his story. What happens in chapter one is the reader's first alert that the book is more than the story of a missing baby.
Thaddeus' wife, who is dead when the book begins, is featured prominently in the first chapter via a flashback. She makes what is to be a pivotal and (potentially) instructive act of generosity. She convinces her husband to help an old friend of his, a woman she has never met (and whom she has likely guessed was once her husband's lover).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Nothing's really great about the story, although it has some surprising elements. The language is quite cumbersome, with lengthy sentences. Read morePublished on Sept. 27 2002 by Puteri Azlina
Trevor reminds me of Flannery O'Connor. The holy spirit is somehow numinously present in the random, cruel, and grotesque universe that he describes with such precision and wit. Read morePublished on July 11 2001 by Larry Dilg
Fully realized characters and a plot that turns on the cause and effect results of a random accident are woven into this remarkable novel. Read morePublished on July 3 2001 by R. J. Marsella
I read this book while on a recent vacation to Great Britain and maybe my favorable impression of it has more to do with being in London as I was reading it. Read morePublished on July 21 2000 by L. D Sears
When I first read this book, I had very mixed feelings about it. I was bored, confused, intrigued, saddened and disappointed all at the same time. Read morePublished on April 20 2000 by Kelly M. Stitzel
This book is just another version of a well-worn and highly overused story. However, this did not doom the book, which could have been salvageable had the story been written in an... Read morePublished on March 14 2000
Based on a highly cliched premise (a babysitter in love with the father of the child) I found this book's momentum to be too slow until the climax of the story, which came and went... Read morePublished on March 1 2000