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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
183
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 10 June 2014
As a rule, I don't write book reviews. If I like a book I will happily promote it on Twitter, otherwise I keep my counsel.The decision was made when I recognised that rather than say anything negative about a book I don't like on Amazon et al, I preferred to say nothing at all about any of them.

The Last Summer is a *gorgeous* book. Beautifully written, compelling, moving & evocative of the era in which it is set. The author deserves every positive accolade & bright bouquet. I've read both Judith's books & can't wait for the next one.

Not only is she a splendid writer, Judith Kinghorn is a delightful person. Charming to her admirers & fans; unfailingly kind to those of us still on the bottom rung of writing. xXx
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on 30 October 2016
Wonderful book could not put it down never wanted it to end . Absolutely outstanding so moving I love this ladies writing am looking for ward to the next one. Well done on this book its fabulous. Eileen d
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on 20 September 2013
Others have covered the plot of The Last Summer already on here so I will just add that I found it a beautiful story of two people who were meant to be together despite all that life throws at them. The setting of a luxurious country house,wartime London and it's glamorous inhabitants were perfectly depicted and I loved the excerpts of letters used at the beginning of chapters .Many books of romantic fiction become silly or predictable but The Last Summer maintains a gripping storyline full of dilemmas , emotions and overwhelmingly moving events .
I didn't want the story to end .. Looking forward to reading more by Judith Kinghorn very much..
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on 2 November 2012
I loved this book and can highly recommend it. The first person narrative is extremely effective and delighfully "old fashioned" in tone, very readable. This is a subject that has been dealt with so many times in literature, films and television but the author seems to capture something new, particularly in the well-drawn characters and evocative descriptions. There is real talent in the writing which is unpretentious but in places quite poetic. Male characters can pose problems for female writers but Tom is a convincing chap, generally likeable and extremely romantic. I would like to have found out a little more about his money-making exploits, but maybe that would have been too much of a deviation from the main storyline.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the book.....I think it is more of a book that women will enjoy, but I could be wrong. Very much looking forward to Judith's next book.......good luck to her in what I hope will be a star-studded literary journey. Valjo
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on 22 June 2017
Really impressed would like to read more by this author
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on 8 October 2013
Have recently discovered this author and I am 'hooked' She leaves one spellbound with Her sensational writing. Hope She has another book on the way
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on 9 June 2013
I cant really say more than sit down enjoy this book and relax. Its a great storyline and a great ending.....
A good holiday read, but more than that.
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on 23 December 2013
Gripping, sad, emotional - historical search accurate and believing. Great bedtime holiday read. Beautifully written describing beauty of the English countryside.
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on 4 October 2013
Judith Kinghorn writes excellent books.

I really enjoyed this book, the story, the characters, a very good read, interesting too
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on 21 April 2013
The last summer is the story of Clarissa, only daughter of the wealthy Granville family, who are the owners of Deyning, a vast and decadent country estate. For seventeen year old Clarissa,Deyning is the only world she has ever really known, and she spends her days in a blissful, innocent haze; however the glass bubble of her world is about to shattered as the growing threat of war draws ever nearer. Before then, however, she is afforded one last, glorious summer, surrounded by her family, her beloved brothers, and it is then that she meets Tom Cuthbert. TOm is the housekeeper's son, studying at Oxford, and though they come from different worlds, there is an undeniable connection between them. Yet their romance is only blossoming when war breaks out, a war that will forever change all their lives and leave Clarissa yearning for that long ago summer. Will Clarissa and Tom's love for each other survive the war and the social barriers between them; or will that too merely fade into a memory?

This is an old-fashioned story, stretching from 1914 to 1930; and is as much a story telling of the changing society of the times as it is a love story. The horrors of the war told mainly from the point view of the mothers, wives and daughters left behind, and the sense of loss, the grief never really recovered from is achingly poignant in its depiction. The decline of the great houses, slow loss of a whole way of living, shift in society and power, rising independence of women are all observed upon.

The romance between Clarissa and Tom at the story's heart is deeply engrossing; their encounters over the years, and the criss-crossing of their paths keeping you on tenterhooks to the eventual outcome. At times their relationship and the obstacles that keep forcing them apart is frustrating, yet believably so; for Clarissa is a product of the generation of the time, held back by the rules she has been brought up to follow. I do, however, think that towards the end of the story, the author did drag things out just a little too much, which hampered just slightly, what was otherwise a beautifully shaped love story.

All the central characters are engaging; and their progression, the changes to their personalities over the years believable and very much shaped by events and circumstances, the direction that life takes them. I loved the innocent Clarissa at the start of the story, her optimism and belief in everything good, yet she couldn't stay like that; and Tom too changes from the shy and reserved young man we first meet.

Kinghorn writes quite beautifully, her descriptions, particularly of Deyning wonderfully vivid and evocative to the senses; you can see the sights she describes, feel the textures, inhale the smells as if you inhabit the world of her pages.

Overall this is a simply sumptuous read.
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