Swallowtail Summer

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

A beautifully and endearing romance from one of my favourite authors, Erica James. It seems to encapsulate those warm and  lazy summer days of our youth!. Erica’s characters are, as always, well rounded and so believable that I almost felt myself one of that group of friends!
A Romance that is worthy of the name.
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Erica James has long been one of my favourite authors. She never fails to write beautiful stories that are both enjoyable and the covers so bright and cheery. This is a must read for all fans of Erica’s books.
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Another fabulous book from one of my favourite authors. The story follows several families that are interwoven by friendship and a shared affinity with a house in Norfolk.  So much happens within the story and   to the characters we meet. Drama, secrets,deep emotions, life changing events, tears and laughter and most of all love. With a few twists here and there, this may not be the light summer read you may expect from the cover. Thoroughly  enjoyed this book.
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A wonderful summer holiday read, especially as we holiday each year in Norfolk with other families! Erica never fails to disappoint and this one certainly doesn’t.
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Well written novel about life and friendship set in the Norfolk Broads. The characters are interesting and well developed and the story had me hooked. A good holiday read.
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62 year old Alastair returns home to Linston End after spending months travelling following the sudden death of his wife Orla. 
He and his close friends and their families have always spent their summers at Linston End but they are shocked when Alastair tells them he is selling Linston to start again with Valentina, a woman he met on his travels.   
Alastair invites them to spend a last summer at Linston and asks Valentina to join them. What was intended as a happy farewell soon turns into a summer of bitter arguments as old grievances are aired and they find that even the best of friends have secrets. Will they still be friends when the summer is over or will what they discover about each other tear them all apart.
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Erica James has not disappointed in this new book.  A lot of interesting characters, set in a lovely part of the country.  Loved all thje chartacters, even the baddies.  Some page turning dramas as well.
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Thanks to the publisher and netgalleyfor allowing me to review this book.
Sorry, not my sort of special read, slow and meandering  I could miss a half a age and not lose the pace.
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I normally really enjoy Erica’s books but had mixed emotions about this one. I found it hard to engage with the characters and didn’t really like some of them. The story seemed overly complex at times, and in other places it seemed to go nowhere . Everyone seemed to have a secret!
It was quite hard to get into the book at the beginning, however the idyllic location of the Norfolk Broads  helped .
There are many twists in the storyline which kept the story moving but I felt it fell short of Ericas usually high standards.
Thank you to Netgalley, Orion, and Erica James for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review
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I was really looking forward to reading this as I am a fan of Erica James.

The wonderful house on the broads sounds amazing and Erica James's description draws a good visual image of this.

I found I could not engage with the characters at all, except perhaps at the beginning.

A big disappointment, but I hope the next will be up to scratch.

I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are all my own and completely unbiased.  My thanks to NetGalley for this opportunity.
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I have read a lot of Eric James book and have really enjoyed them, unfortunately this is not her best.  Neither the  characters or the story drew me in. So sorry, I will of course continue reading Erica’s wonderful books.
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A story of friendship through the years.
I found this a little slow to begin with and not as enjoyable as I hoped it would be.
Alastair has lost his wife she was his great love so he decides to go and do some traveling and he meets a new lady .
But she tries to encourage him to sell his home and move to France, but what will his best friends think when they hear the news ?
A story of friendship and secrets of living life to its fullest before time runs out .
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Good storyline on the whole, but as I found most of the characters either unpleasant or annoying I didn't enjoy reading it as much as I expected.

There were some unresolved threads in the tale - perhaps another novel with some of the same characters is planned?

My thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for an ARC in return for my honest review.
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A good story that is reasonably easy to read, the plot is good with plenty of different angles to keep your interest in but not so many that it becomes confusing.
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What a fabulous book! This draws us into the lives of 6 old friends and their children, whose lives have been intertwined for decades. Linston End is the beautiful home in the Norfolk Broads where the families have holidayed since they were children. Following the death of his mercurial wife, órla, Alastair goes travelling but now he has returned and has summoned his friends to Linston End where he has an announcement to make which will change all their lives irrevocably. This wonderful book has so many threads running through it like a tapestry that gradually unravels before our eyes. This is a story of friendship, marriage, betrayal, nostalgia, secrets and ultimately the triumph of love. I thoroughly enjoyed this cracking good read. A proper family saga with all that entails! A triumph which I highly recommend. 5 stars from me!
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I really enjoyed this book. Alastair, Danny and Simon have been close friends since schooldays. Summers have been spent with their families at Alastair's lovely house in the idyllic setting of the Norfolk Broads. The story begins with Alastair returning from an extended trip after the death of his wife. He has made a momentous decision regarding his house and his future while he has been away. Now he must tell his friends what he has decided. This is a story of friendship, betrayal and a lifetime of memories and secrets. The ideal summer read! Thanks to NetGalley for a preview copy.
Copied to Goodreads.
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This was a long read, that I found didn't captivate me in the way that previous books by Erica James had. It felt quite heavy going, and I had to read it in small chunks rather than in one sitting. 
That said, the story was a good one, and I liked a few of the characters. I liked the character of Blake, and was interested to find out what happened to him in the end.
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Linston End may be an idyllic setting on the banks of the river but underneath the façade of this close group of friends there are secrets and resentments. With Alastair’s announcement, the summer brings to the surface this group of friend’s feelings that have been glossed over and lay buried for years. It makes them reassess their own lives and their own hopes and dreams. I loved the drama!

Alastair, Simon and Danny have been close friends since prep school and an integral part of each other’s lives as they’ve married and had children. Even though their children are now in their 30’s, the families are still close and get together at Linston End. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters, figuring out what motivates them and what part they had to play in the unfolding turmoil. I disliked one character but wasn’t sure at first whether that’s because I was emotionally attached to the others or whether she was manipulative and a danger (very clever with a gilded tongue … her step-children gave me goosebumps too and it turned out, for good reason). Laura is the voice of reason in amongst the different expectations everyone has. I loved how this tied in with Blake and Jenna.

One late night scene had me catching my breath and expecting the worst. I felt so much anger and frustration afterwards too. I was shouting out ‘are you for real!?!?!’ Another traumatic event for Frankie and Danny brings everything to a head. And a shocker that had me stunned. I really wasn’t expecting that to happen …

Swallowtail Summer left me with a feeling of optimism about moving forward to a different future. A future that will be lived to the full.

Recommended read no matter the time of year!
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At first I found it difficult to get into the plot as there are so many characters. I adored the setting in Norfolk, somewhere I have never been but would now like to visit. There are many unpredictable turns in the book and I did not predict the ending. A feel good book to enjoy on a sunny night with a glass of wine.
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Loved this story of best friends and family ties.  Not everything ended happily ever after, but I thought the author really described the characters relationships and their own traits and problems really well.  I became thoroughly immersed  in the story.  Only one character was left unfinished I thought and that was Callum.
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