S U M M E R L O N G
A u t h o r : Peter S. Beagle
P u b l i s h e d : September 6th 2016 by Tachyon Publications
G e n r e : Fantasy, Magical Realism, Contemporary, Mystery, Adult
F o r m a t : eARC
S y n o p s i s : Beloved author Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) returns with this long-anticipated new novel, a beautifully bittersweet tale of passion, enchantment, and the nature of fate.
It was a typically unpleasant Puget Sound winter before the arrival of Lioness Lazos. An enigmatic young waitress with strange abilities, when the lovely Lioness comes to Gardner Island even the weather takes notice.
As an impossibly beautiful spring leads into a perfect summer, Lioness is drawn to a complicated family. She is taken in by two disenchanted lovers—dynamic Joanna Delvecchio and scholarly Abe Aronson — visited by Joanna’s previously unlucky-in-love daughter, Lily. With Lioness in their lives, they are suddenly compelled to explore their deepest dreams and desires.
Lioness grows more captivating as the days grow longer. Her new family thrives, even as they may be growing apart. But lingering in Lioness’s past is a dark secret — and even summer days must pass.
(**Special thanks to Netgalley for providing me an ARC of Summerlong in exchange for an honest review. Albeit my review came a little too late.😅)
R E V I E W
I was supposed to read Beagle’s The Last Unicorn first, but alas, fate has other plans for me – or rather, I found this book on Netgalley and fell instantly in love with it.
It’s been months since I finished Summerlong and until today, I still don’t have the right words to describe how I feel about it. Partly enchanted, yes. Beagle’s writing seems very poetic and he’s good at evoking emotions. I love the air of mystery surrounding Lioness and enjoyed picking apart her identity in my head. Seriously, I initially had some far-fetched guesses as to who she truly was until it finally hit me, halfway through the story. It was the only answer that made sense and I was super giddy to know I was right. Since the one I’m talking about is a pretty much famous Greek figure. We encounter her in so many books and retellings, but in Summerlong, she walks with the characters, talks with them, lives with them. And if you think about it, it’d be pretty cool and awesome to have someone like that under your own roof.
Aside from the touch of Greek mythology, I really like the focus on the old couple Abe and Joanna (why do I always forget her name?). Though it isn’t suitable for young readers, it was quite interesting to read a story from a very adult perspective. While the couple may be tucked in a secure relationship, they were never compelled to pursue their interests before – until Lioness came along.
I like Lioness – I don’t even mind the fact that everyone she meets is enthralled with her. I guess it’s her aura or something (she doesn’t even talk much), but I didn’t like what she’d done with Abe. I thought Abe and Joanna’s relationship would grow as they get to discover themselves furthermore but instead they drifted apart. Not only that, Lioness managed to make Joanna’s lesbian daughter, Lily, fall head over heels for her. And frankly, I really don’t like Lily. She acts like some obsessed person it’s unnatural.
Overall, Summerlong was fantastic though I probably would’ve enjoyed it more if Lioness didn’t mess up Abe and Joanna’s relationship, and if Lily showed at least a little resistance to Lioness’s charms. Nonetheless, Beagle’s writing style and narration were spot-on. I love the subtlety of magic, the slow unraveling of mysteries, and Abe and Joanna’s character developments. I wish to see more from this author so I’ll probably get to The Last Unicorn soon.
R A T I N G