Kitty’s summer reading pick is The Light Years, the first volume of Elizabeth Jane Howard’s wonderful Cazalet Chronicles. Set during the summers of 1937 and 1938, it follows three generations of the Cazalet family as they spend their holidays together at Home Place in sunlit Sussex. Howard expertly explores the tensions and tangles of family life and she writes with a generosity towards each of her many characters, allowing the reader to know them all intimately. This captivating novel unfolds at a delightfully unhurried pace, making it a great summer read to get lost in. It’s always a pleasure to revisit the Cazalets and the later volumes follow the family through the Second World War and beyond.
Cathy’s summer reading pleasures are The Dust That Falls From Dreams and So Much Life Left Over, both by Louis de Bernieres. They are moving books that follow the same characters’ lives from pre-WWI to the inter-war years.
For a summer holiday read, Philip recommends one of Mick Herron’s Zoe Boehm thrillers if you liked the Jackson Lamb Books you’ll like this feisty lady. Down Cemetery Road, The Last Voice you Hear, Why We Die and Smoke and Whispers.
This summer, Rachel wants everyone to read The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, a story about a father and daughter who finally settle down in a small American town, after living life on the run. Samuel has twelve bullet scars all over his body, and as each scar is explained, so are the reasons that the duo have never stayed in one place. It has everything necessary for a great holiday book–it is well written, steadily paced, has characters you really grow to care about, and an epic narrative arc.