Swallowtail Summer

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Friends since school, Alastair,Simon and Danny are now looking forward to a  long and happy retirement with their wives when tragedy strikes:. Orla, Alastair’s wife drowns. One year later, Alastair returns from his travels with a new partner - Valentina.
How well do you know your friends? When the couples and their offspring meet at Alastair’s home for their habitual gathering, the dynamics have changed and Alastair has some upsetting news.
I was not immediately gripped by this novel, I struggled to find one redeeming feature about any of the characters, then suddenly the story took off and the characters started to become less one dimensional.  
This is a study of friendships and what can be taken for granted over time, what can be hidden away and what is hidden in plain sight.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it if you like reading about family dynamics, friendship and manipulation.
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The story is set in the Norfolk Broads in a house that has been the setting holidays for a group of close friends from their teenage years although the story has some of them now more mature with their now grown up children. One of the members of this group has died and her partner has found someone new and dealing with this change and its consequences form the basis of this story as they holiday together once again.  Erica James is one of my favorite authors but for once the characters in this book did not really draw me into the story.  I didn't care for any of them and wasn't bothered what happened to them, in fact most of them, including the dead woman, irritated me.
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Another glorious read from Erica James. This is set in the Norfolk Broads in a house that has been the scene of family holidays for a group of close friends from their teenage years. Now approaching their later years, a death and a health scare have altered the landscape of their lives and managing this change and its consequences form the basis of this story that takes place as they holiday together, possibly for the last time.
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Let me start this review by saying I am a fan of Erica James, I have read her books for years and whilst not my usual genre I always find myself getting lost in her stories and in her writing. However, this one was not quite what I was expecting and I did not enjoy it as much as I would have hoped. 

This is a different genre style than we are used to for James and I think this might surprise some readers as they will not get what they can normally rely on (and love) when reading Erica James. The characters - whilst well written and believable - did not draw me in. I understand they were not all meant to be likable characters, that itself is not an issue but I feel this book needed someone for me to back/be on board with and it just didn't have that. 

As always, splendidly written but not for me this time. I look forward to reading her next book and perhaps I will have more luck!
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Swallowtail Summer, Erica James

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: general fiction (adult) 

I've read a few of Erica's novels in the past, and those all had a romance slant, so even though this wasn't billed as romance I somehow was expecting one. My bad, its not romance. It is however, and accurate, sharp look at us as people, how we turn a blind eye to what we don't want to acknowledge, and how differently people react when the truth is forced in front of them. 
I liked the strength of the characters, the way they felt real. I can't say I really liked any of them as people though, and I wasn't really invested in the outcome of events. Its not a book that really worked for me, very well written, but the actual story just didn't resonate with me. Possibly because I was waiting for a romance to develop somewhere....totally my fault. I do read stories other than romance, but my mindset wasn't in the right place. Maybe at a different time I'd enjoy it, but right now I didn't. I found it a very sad story, almost depressing in how people could be let down so bsdly by those close to them. 

Stars: Two, just not one for me, but I'll happily read others from Erica. 

Arc via Netgalley
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Great book- really enjoyed it.it was an easy read. 
Thanks to both NetGalley and Orion Publishing for my eARC of this book in exchange for my honest unbiased review
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Thoroughly enjoyed this. It was good to read a book where the main characters were older than the usual chick lit/general fiction genre. It makes such a change.
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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher.   I really enjoy reading this authors books and this one was good as well but not the best.
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Alistair, Simon and Danny have been friends for years. Since they were small boys, their summers have always been spent together at Linston End in Norfolk. Even with wives and children, the house remains their refuge every summer.

Following the death of his wife, Alistair decides to take time away from Linston End; on his travels he meets and falls in love with Valentina, a wealthy Russian widow. Upon returning to Linston End, Alistair decides the time is right to the sell house and begin a new life with Valentina - much to the disgruntlement of his friends. As Simon and Danny try to persuade him otherwise, it seems nothing they can say will change his mind. That is, until a near fatal accident brings secrets to the fore and has a catastrophic outcome.

A good book set in a beautiful location. It has a good cast of mostly likeable characters. A story of secrets, jealousy and deception and was an enjoyable read.
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There’s a problem with this book. When it downloads it isn’t a swallowtale summer but something completely different. I have tried to report it but no-one came back to me about it.
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Oops. The book I received was not this one but ‘If Only I Could Tell You’ by Hannah Beckerman.. it was an excellent read.
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