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Under a Dark Summer Sky is a stunning debut novel, at once a love story set in a time of great turmoil and a vivid depiction of a major natural disaster.
Florida, 1935. In Heron Key, relationships are as tangled as the swamp's mangrove roots. It's been eighteen long years since Henry went away to war. Still, Missy has waited, cleaning the Kincaids' house and counting the stars. Now he's back, but she barely recognizes the desperate, destitute veteran he's become -- unsure of his future, ashamed of his past. When a white woman is found beaten nearly to death after the Fourth of July barbecue, suspicion falls on him immediately. As tensions rise in the small community, the barometer starts to plummet -- a massive hurricane is on its way.
Based on real historical events, Under a Dark Summer Sky evokes what happens when people, sweating under the weight of their pasts, are tested to the absolute limits of their endurance.
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Vanessa Lafaye is a Florida native, now living in the UK. She has worked for nearly 30 years in academic publishing, for Oxford University Press, Blackwell Publishing, and Wiley. She has published numerous articles in British broadsheets, and several short stories. She lives in Wiltshire. This is her first novel.Review:
"A storming debut novel [that] captures the racial and social tensions in southern America after the First World War. Part social history and part love story, this features the hurricane as a forceful, malevolent character in its own right, whipping through the pages." - The Bookseller
""Under a Dark Summer Sky" is a tender love story, an unflinching look at racial tension, and a gripping account of what its like to survive a powerful hurricane on the Florida Keys in the 1930s. A haunting debut novel!" - Ellen Marie Wiseman, author of The Plum Tree and What She Left Behind
"A taut and powerful novel....deeply moving. A riveting piece of social history, it's also a love story and a devastating account of what it's like to experience such a disaster." - The Daily Mail
"In Vanessa Lafaye's extensively researched novel, set during the great depression, a hurricane exposes the horrific prejudice and hate that lie beneath the placid surface of an upscale town on the Florida keys. The historic 1935 storm hits a shabby camp housing WWI veterans, shattering their hopes of a better life. Henry, one of the vets, is a home-town boy who has returned with the slim hope of reclaiming his life as it was before the war; he is surprised and heartened to find the enduring love of Missy, a lovely young woman who has never forgotten him. A fast-paced page turner." - Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August
"Lafaye's debut novel succeeds on the merits of its well-drawn characters, its sense of place, and on the tragic events it details. The author keeps the reader at a distance from the characters, but this serves a greater purpose: a focus on the big picture of a town struggling under the weight of the past. Readers of historical fiction will find this book rewarding." - Library Journal
"Part love-story, part eye-opening insight into a tumultuous time in American history - the years after the First World War, when veterans tried to rebuild their lives and racial tensions ran high." - GOOD HOUSEKEEPING UK
"In one night nature changes this small town more than ever before ... If you love The Help, you'll love this." - CLOSER
"This is Vanessa Lafaye's debut novel, and what a writer she is! She has a talent with words that enables her prose to glide across the page, there are no superfluous words, and each paragraph eases the story along. She is a natural creator of atmosphere and suspense, and with a deft hand she creates credible, yet humanly flawed characters. She also creates a very palpable setting, the heat, the oppressive temperatures and the gurgling, sulphurous swampland all assault the reader's senses.(5 STARS) " - TRIP FICTION
"Lafaye brilliantly depicts one of the worst disasters in Florida's history, as well as a turbulent era of segregation and hostility. Her prose makes it feel as if you were in the eye of the storm. Lafaye is a powerful writer and a talent to watch." - RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 Stars
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Book Description Thorndike Press, 2015. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11141048209X
Book Description Thorndike Press, 2015. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M141048209X