To write the report in secrecy, Helen is ordered to leave London for the summer. She thinks she knows the ideal place; a cottage in the village of Prior’s Sutton, deep in the Suffolk countryside. But the cottage and Helen have their own history, and old friends, lovers and rivals are closer than she had let herself imagine.
As Helen struggles to keep her distance from old and new entanglements, she remembers the first summer she spent in Prior’s Sutton, working as a volunteer nurse in the brave, naive months between school and university. The experiences of that summer, joyful and traumatic, formed the shell which has covered her for the past seventeen years – but is it time for the carapace to crack?
When a teenage boy disappears, Helen has to choose between the security of her career and the long-forgotten demands of friendship and compassion. Forced back to London, she discovers the other side of the city; its violence, poverty and crime. Nothing is safe and no one is quite as they seemed. As the two summers unfold, Helen faces the truth about what really happened long ago and about what she has become.
But this year the stakes are higher . . .
Summer 17 is a thoughtful, swift-paced novel about love, sex, friendship and faith, and about the compromises we make – and sometimes have the chance to unmake.
Tanya Jones is the author of the popular Ophelia O. series, of the Tuscan crime novel Girotondo and of several non-fiction books.