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Seven Days One Summer [Paperback]

Kate Morris
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

7 July 2011
When her old flame Sam rings up one day and invites her on a villa holiday in Italy, Jen is completely thrown off balance. Sam, as she cannot help but recall, was the best kiss of her life.

With her husband Marcus constantly travelling the world for work, and seven-year-old Alfie still in the marital bed, the joys of marriage and motherhood are thin on the ground for Jen these days... What could be more appealing than being with old friends and recapturing a little bit of their youth?

Six months later, Jen and Marcus arrive at the stunning Villa La Silerchie. Everything s set for the holiday of a lifetime; but as the week progresses, and tensions rise in the August heat, relationships unravel, old rivalries re-emerge, and uncomfortable truths have to be faced.

Who knew what seven days in the sun could lead to...

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Short Books Ltd (7 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907595279
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907595271
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 778,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Morris was born in London and still lives there, though is in a constant dilemma about whether to move to the country. Kate has published two dark, comic, novels, the first about the volatile crazy world of being single, The Single Girl's Diary, (Heinemann) and the second, The Seven Year Itch, (Penguin) about a fraught, claustrophobic marriage between a woman named Ellie, and her husband, an out of work actor, Jack. Some readers were sad about the ending to the Seven Year Itch, but Kate couldn't see it any other way.

Her third novel, Seven Days One Summer, out in July 2011 and published by Short Books, is about a group of acquaintances and friends who are all sharing a villa in Italy, one hot August. Relationships unravel in the intense heat, but all their lives change in some way over the seven days. It is the perfect summer holiday read.

Kate shares her house with her two school-aged children, a fat cat, and a husband. She shares a study with her husband but would really like to have a Room Of Her Own. Kate also writes a weekly marriage column for the Times and articles for magazines and newspapers.

Favourite recent novel: Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. Poem that recently made her cry: Mid Term by Seamus Heaney. Writer she used to love, but now finds too desperate and sad, Jean Rhys. Other writers she admires: Ian McCewan, Sebastian Barry, Elizabeth Taylor, Cormac McCarthy and Ted Hughes. Want to read AS Byatt. Most compelling recent read: Room by Emma Donahue.

Product Description


Dark, funny and observant... utterly compelling. --Lucy Cavendish

Kate Morris brilliantly depicts all those little irks and irritations that eventually get to even the best of us. --Daily Express

About the Author

Kate Morris is the author of three novels. She lives in London with her husband and two children and writes a weekly marriage column in The Times.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 days one summer 8 July 2011
we've all been there - a bunch of like minded people thrown together - but in the end are they like minded...? gripping. absolutely loved this book. great summer read with some fantastic twists. strongly recommend. the perfect holiday book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The literary device of gathering a group of characters together, and then watching them while they do or don't do, things to each other, is well established. Often someone dies. Others are either at fault, or did it on purpose. In this book, which appears deceptively to be a simple tale about a group of people on holiday, there are undercurrents that many of us will recognise. In particular of how even well-intentioned people let things slide a bit in terms of responsibility generally, and for children when sun, swimming and booze are involved. The characters are more complex than is usual in this kind of social 'comedy'- not stereotypes. Morris is very good on tired middle-aged relationships, how sick we get of each other, and how tempting the grass on the other side of the hedge looks - and how people play mildly flirtatious games on holiday 'if...' games. But she is always subtle, never rushing her character into bed and into trouble. Her prose style has a simplicity that is also deceptive, enjoyable, rather unusual with a kind of spice to it. All in the historical present tense, which Morris handles deftly - not easy - so you feel you are there, walking beside these people in the Tuscan landscape. So, things do happen, people feel authentically, then they go home. A good read, particularly if you are taking a later summer holiday.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read but needs better ending 20 July 2014
This novel started off as a very interesting read. It is written in a curiously flat plain style ( for example there is no attempt to break up a block of sentences all beginning 'She ... She ..She .. and there is a great deal of ' we did this and then we did that') but this lack of polish perfectly conveys the ever changing dynamics of the group and the watchful almost neurotic nature of the narrator. Jen's honesty is remarkable - she admits to every passing twinge of jealousy or envy - but as she never laughs at herself or shows any real empathy for anyone else it becomes increasingly difficult to like her as the story progresses. (Indeed all the characters are pretty unappealing; even Jen's son is a whinging brat.)Yet the conflicts between the characters are convincingly displayed, and the author succeeds in building up an air of tension and suspense.

The last third of the novel however is oddly flat. The mystery about the housekeeper is a genuine surprise but we hardly care, especially as the big reveal happens out of sight, And the all round happy ending just does not fit with what has gone before, and actually feels as if the author just lost her nerve at the last minute.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying summer read 25 Sep 2011
By Sarah
Due to go on holiday, I was glad to pick up an attractive-looking beach read to while away the hours with. I flew through it, but partly because I wanted to get onto by next book! Unfortunately this left me cold. I was initially frustrated with a couple of discrepancies in the plot and with the style of writing, but then moved onto indifference with the one dimensional, self-centred characters and the grating narrator. There were quite a few interesting story lines that should have been exciting to follow, but I felt detached. Maybe I expected too much, as I haven't read a holiday-style book for years, but for over 300 pages I thought i'd be more engrossed and drawn into the characters' lives. 'Seven Days, One Summer' passed the time, but lacked the spark I was after.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just read it on holiday. Perfect on the beach 2 Aug 2011
By olivia
Just read this on holiday straight out in 2 days. Great get away from it all book. Cannot say much else than that but would love to read 10 more like it on 10 more holidays.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great summer holiday read 8 July 2011
Take this book on holiday with you - such a fun read, you won't put it down!

Bet most of us have had holidays like that!

I've also read Kate Morris' other book "The Seven Year Itch" recommended too....
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not great... 14 July 2014
By sej
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hmmm...interesting plot but one dimensional characters. The ending came out of nowhere and seemed just stupid. Poorly written. Not a great read - I won't be buying any of her other books...
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2.0 out of 5 stars Jen's Diary - a disappointing read 30 Dec 2012
By Rossi
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Completely out of the blue, Jen along with partner Marcus and son Alfie have been invited to stay at her old flame Sam's Italian villa and Jen jumps at the chance to escape her unexciting life for a week. But why has Sam chosen to invite Jen and Marcus on this impromptu holiday along with a random group of old friends? Having read the book, I still have no idea.

This could have been an intriguing holiday read set against the backdrop of a glorious, sizzling Italian summer and there are subtle hints - from the secret whisperings amongst the guests to the sinister behaviour of housekeeper Jill - that keep you reading. Unfortunately though, it turned out to be like Jen's Diary and her account of her holiday, (swimming, sunbathing, reading, drinking, eating, watching the children...) we also find out about her insecurities and nothing much else happens except it all becomes very monotonous. Towards the end, on reaching the part about Sam's mother, I almost lost the will to continue but flicked to the end to find that they all lived happily ever after.

A very disappointing read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wildly Enjoyable
Once again, Kate Morris has written a novel which is difficult to put down. Seven Days One Summer captures groovy Brits on holiday in Italy. Read more
Published on 1 Jan 2012 by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the greatest holiday read
On the back of the outstanding reviews I purchased this book.It was an 'ok' read ,but I felt certainly not worthy of 4and1/2* A few things irritated me. Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2011 by Tilly Tompkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely read
Seven Days One Summer is the perfect holiday read - doesn't have to be poolside, could be fireside - as it tells the story of a group of friends, acquaintances, ex lovers, husbands... Read more
Published on 14 Sep 2011 by Tessa Lumley
4.0 out of 5 stars Seven Days One Summer
Seven Days One Summer is Kate Morris' third novel, although it is the first of hers that I have read. Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2011 by Amy
1.0 out of 5 stars A wet depressing summer read !
I picked this book up with high expectations from the reviews and the blurb on the back. I cant tell you how disappointed I was in this book. Read more
Published on 26 July 2011 by A. Stephenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven Days One Summer
Seven Days One Summer completely gripped me.I really felt i was there.I read the book cover to cover in two days; It was really hard to put down. Read more
Published on 25 July 2011 by E emma murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven Days One Summer
Kate Morris has an uncanny ability to get to the heart of the matter. Fabulous look at human nature and how we behave in the world, with funny observations of the small details and... Read more
Published on 12 July 2011 by AlliT
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