A Summer of the Forest Folk
A Classic Tale of the Healing Power of Nature
by Maria Rodziewiczówna, Tom Pinch
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Pub Date 20 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 19 Jun 2022
ARC provided by Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op, Mondrala Press
A classic tale of the healing power of nature… with an LBGTQ twist.
A trunk with a double bottom, a story hidden within a story.
A European best-seller, continuously in print since 1920, now for the first time in English.
Three men (women?) spend each summer in a remote cottage in the last virgin forest of Europe. This summer, they are joined by a teenage nephew from the big city.
First published in 1920, the book has become a classic because of its beautiful style, setting, and its heartwarming story. A Catholic nation has loved the tale for a century. Kids have read it in school. Grandparents have read it to their children.
Then someone revealed the secret: the novel is a roman-à-clef, and the "men" are, in fact, lesbians living in (gasp!) a ménage à trois!
It is a touching story, beautifully told, even if you do not know the secret code; but if you do, it is suddenly a lot deeper.
About the author:
Maria Rodziewiczówna (1863-1944) was one of the most prolific and successful Polish authors of her time, a political activist and feminist in men's clothing, and nearly all her books remain popular and in print today.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 3 members
There's something of The Wind in the Willows, something of The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions, something of Swallows and Amazons, and something uniquely its own as well.
I can quite see how this has become such a classic, and the 'lesbian twist' - however well-hidden in the actual reading - is really icing on the cake. How I like to imagine these women living in rural Communist Poland, giving each other honorary names like 'Beekeeper' and 'Crane', becoming one with the forest!
My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC - and to the translator for his 'labour of love'.