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A Summer in the Country
by Marcia Willett

Category: Fiction / General
304 pages; ISBN: 031228781X

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

While her husband is away on extended seafaring missions for the British navy, Brigid Foster owns Foxboro, a family vacation estate in the English countryside. Her mother Freda, who abandoned Brigid as a child, has moved into one of the cabins while her stepsister Jemima Spencer lives in the nearby town. Her friend Louise Parry is up for her annual two weeks while her husband Martin is on a golf holiday.

Two murders have occurred somewhat nearby, but the four females feel safe due to their relative isolation. Besides each one of them has bigger demons frying their brains than some serial killer. Brigid wonders if this is all there is in life, especially with an ungrateful mother living next door. Jemima questions why the world has not fallen at her knees. Freda cannot comprehend why her oldest daughter seems so cold towards her when her demands are so reasonable. Louise sees circumstantial evidence that her spouse is cheating on her. Each one of these women will soon confront their internal demon that has blocked honest relationships between them, but where that tentative openness leads them to no one knows.

This is an intriguing relationship drama that contains little action until towards the end of the plot. Still, readers see deep inside Brigid especially how she reacts to her blood kin and in counterpoint how they act towards her. Though Louise brings her own baggage, she serves as more of a catalyst and counterpoint to the dysfunctional family. Readers who appreciate an insightful character study will want to spend time with A SUMMER IN THE COUNTRY.

Harriet Klausner

 

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