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In a Summer Season (VMC Book 587)

In a Summer Season (VMC Book 587) [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Taylor
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'Once you've finished IN A SUMMER SEASON, you are totally fired up to read every book that Taylor ever wrote' -- Val Hennessy

‘Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning point in one’s own experience’ -- Elizabeth Bowen

Book Description

* IN A SUMMER SEASON is one of Elizabeth Taylor's finest novels in which, in a moving and powerful climax, she reveals love to be the thing it is: beautiful, often funny, and sometimes tragic.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 325 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1844083209
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (7 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052RMNRE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #103,462 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such an elegant writer 1 Dec 2008
When I finished my first Elizabeth Taylor - I only discovered her a few months ago - I immediately set out to read
everything she has written. She is always so brilliantly observant and it seems she is incapable of writing even
a single jarring word.
This book is about Kate, a wealthy widow who marries a purposeless, feckless charmer ten years younger than herself. Dermot didn't marry her for her money; he does love her, or thinks he does, but how long can such a marriage last? Elizabeth Taylor's talent is to make you sympathise with Dermot, too; his feeble attempts to find work, his lack of any self-respect, his awkwardness with his wife's friends whose literary allusions soar over his head, his wretched boredom during an evening of classical music. Their marriage is more like a tolerant mother and son relationship with passionate sex thrown in ... and indeed Dermot (whose hinterland is fast cars, pubs and television) has far more in common with Kate's son.
The end of the book - and Kate's return to her old, sedate Home Counties life - is quite shocking.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life in the Thames Valley 28 July 2012
What a brilliant writer Elizabeth Taylor was. I am so glad that she is having a revival, she richly deserves it. This book was first published in 1961 and really does describe life as it was in those days. I know, I was there! Full of wit and humour, lovely conversations. The heroine is Kate, a charming widow who has recently married Dermot, who is 10 years younger than herself. He has moved into Kate's family home and joins her son Tom, daughter Lou, and her Aunt Ethel. Dermot's mother Edwina is a friend of Kate. Kate visits her, and she visits the family home. There are some wonderful scenes involving this amusing family. Here's a lovely quote. Kate is speaking. 'It's strange how sympathetic one can be to young lovers in literature and yet react so irritably to them in real life. Wouldn't one fend off Romeo from one's own daughter? I wouldn't have him within a mile of Lou if I had any say in it, the unstable youth. What behaviour! And that naughty, forward girl.'

I have to admit that I did not read this new Virago Modern Classics edition. I needed to read it in a copy printed at the time as it was all part of the scene. But here it is for those who do not have an original copy. Do read it: it is beautifully crafted, thoroughly enjoyable.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A vivid dissection of a middle-class life 13 Jun 2009
By Annabel Gaskell VINE VOICE
Many have told me that I should read the books of Elizabeth Taylor - an author I'd not heard of until the publication of Nicola Beauman's recent biography The Other Elizabeth Taylor by the wonderful Persephone Books. I picked up this particular one for its striking cover photo, and was told by pal Helen, that it was about a woman who marries a much younger man - a toy boy! - well that sold it to me instantly.

Published in 1961, it follows one summer in the lives of a family living in the Thames Valley, with 'The View' of Windsor castle visible in the far distance. This is already prime commuter belt - every day the men go off to work on the train to their jobs in the city - well, everyone except Dermot that is. He is the young Irish thirty-something husband of forty-something well-off widow Kate. They live in some comfort with Kate's sixteen year old daughter Louisa and twenty-two year old son Tom, her Aunt Ethel, and looked after by cook Mrs Meacock. As the novel opens, Kate is on a duty visit to her new mother-in-law, Edwina, up in London for the day. Edwina is always trying to find a job for her youngest, who has never been able to settle at anything or anyone until he fell in love with Kate.

In the first half of the movel we find out what makes them all tick - and frankly, it's all about sex. Kate with her younger husband, Tom with his girlfriends, and Louisa's growing awareness and crush on the young curate in the village. Aunt Ethel watches all these mostly repressed emotions and assesses it in her letters to her friend Gertrude - "When the sex goes Kate will think him no bargain".

Then the Thorntons return from abroad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Check before you read!! 19 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just read this book and absolutely loved it for its insight and accuracy of human nature but do check you have all 220 pages before you start reading. My edition finished mid-sentence at the bottom of p218 and when you read the book you will appreciate quite how frustrating that was!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite perfect 29 July 2012
By hiljean VINE VOICE
I will not outline the plot as other reviewers have already done so. I first encountered Elizabeth Taylor at the end of last year when two friends recommended Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont. What a revelation! It was one of the best books I have ever read, and made me want to read everything Elizabeth Taylor wrote. I must say that so far it seems as though I started with the best. Well written though this is, it lacks the wit, economy, and pathos of Mrs Palfrey.

What Taylor was able to do though, was to pinpoint the disparity between thoughts and words, words and actions, and her observations of domestic inter-relatonships are second to none.

Each character is well drawn and absorbing in their own right, down to Aunt Ethel (a wonderful creation) and dear little Lou, the school-age daughter of Kate.

I had no idea how Taylor was going to resolve the increasing difficulties between the main characters but she comes up with a clever and unexpected solution.

Had I not been measuring this against Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont it might just have squeezed five stars, but it is not nearly as perfect as that novel was.
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