on 11 February 2013
The Summer Guest is not a book I would normally read but I wanted to get a feel for Justin Cronin's writing before I tackle The Passage. I also found the synopsis on the back cover interesting.
The story focuses on a group of people who have a strong attachment to a summer retreat. Joe and Lucy are married, Kate is their daughter, Jordan is the help who is also in love with Kate and then you have Harry. The story is quite pedestrian in the respect it is told with a great deal of precision but never getting out of first gear. It is told from the present day to flashbacks of when all the characters were younger.
It is essentially a love story spread across about three decades (although the story stretches much further) from Joe's birth to the birth of Kate's daughter. It is very much a story of compassion, warmth, loyalty and a special bond between father and daughter.
The dialogue between characters is excellent.
There is a twist but if you follow the story close it becomes apparent halfway through. I don't remember a sentence of bad feeling through the story.
I would have given five stars but for the pace of the storytelling. It is a book that needs perseverance but it is well worth it in the end, that is from a father's point of view.
on 10 July 2012
I have to say that I am a big fan of Justin Cronin, even if I did start off with his latest book first. Having read The Passage (Fantastic) and Mary and O'Neil (Excellent) I came to this book with high hopes. I wasn't disappointed and I would highly recommend it. I suppose my one gripe would be that I would have liked more of a back story on each of the characters. The novel jumped around a bit which always left me with the thought "I wish he had written more about the character in this particular chapter". That said I am still a huge fan of Mr Cronin and am waiting anxiously for the next part of his trilogy "The Twelve". If like me you are new to the world of Mr Cronin books I would recommend this one to tide you over until Part Two comes out - roll on number Twelve is all I can say.