With the last Bank Holiday of the year upon us and the start of a new school term beckoning, your thoughts might be turning towards the autumn. However, here at Ines Cole we love nothing better than an Indian Summer and the possibility of a few more stolen hours of reading in the sun to prolong that summer feeling so here are three books we think make for a great late summer read.
Tigers in Red Weather
By Liza Klaussman
If you missed Liza Klaussman’s debut novel when it first came out, make sure you read it now. A story about the relationship between glamourous, restless Nick and her more fragile cousin Helena, the book conjures up the long, hot summers in the years after the second world war spent at the family house in Martha’s Vineyard and filled with cocktails, tennis and parties. However, a darkness lies beneath the shimmering surface and this tension makes for a gripping read. Klaussman moves effortlessly between characters and decades; the seamier side of Hollywood in the 40s and 50s, passion in war-torn London and golden New England summers which are not all they seem to be on the surface come together in a beautifully written page turner with a secret at its heart.
By Jess Walter
‘Beautiful Ruins’ by Jess Walter also has a mystery at its centre and also paints on a broad canvas which stretches from the small, remote coastal village of Porto Vergogna – so small that It has only a single, tiny pensione – in 1960s Italy to modern day Hollywood via the film set of Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton’s ‘Cleopatra’ in Rome. It starts with the arrival in Porto Vergogna of a beautiful blonde film star dying of cancer who turns out neither to be a star or terminally ill but whose arrival sparks a passion in Pascale Tursi which lasts half a century. The mystery surrounding the beautiful blonde actress moves the narrative in this wonderful book across time and place, with a cast of well-drawn characters and vividly drawn locations to examine the nature of love.
The Versions of Us
By Laura Barnett
Our final read starts with a young Jewish refugee fleeing Nazi Germany to save her unborn child, a single start point which develops into three parallel stories about the life that child goes on to lead, each different as a result of a slight change in circumstance. ‘The Versions of Us’ follows the various lives of Eva, the unborn child now a student in Cambridge in 1958, who either meets or fails to meet Jim, the great love of her love, and who either stays with Jim or leaves him to return to shallow, good-looking David in the three versions of her life which Laura Barnett creates in this lovely, bitter-sweet debut novel. Most of us have wondered what turn our life might have taken had we not pursued a particular path or made a different decision at some point in our past. This book explores how the lives of Eva, Jim & David might have played out in a story which moves from the student world of Cambridge where their lives first intersect to the different end points of Versions One, Two and Three. A moving, beautifully written book not only about what might have been but also about the central importance of love in all our lives.
Enjoy the last of the summer sun!
Post by Kirsten – IC