BookView Review: Summer’s Idyll by Don Gutteridge

BookView Review rated it:

Buy now

Pub date August 4, 2020

ISBN 978-0887535932

Price $20.00 (USD) Paperback, $3.15 Kindle edition

It is the summer of 1944. Junior’s father is off fighting war in Europe. He and his mother live with Junior’s grandparents, and things are more than tense at home, especially with his mother’s frustration with his father’s incessant absence. Billy feels a strange kinship with his mother, especially with his grandmother constantly wary of the latter’s elusive ways. The summer seems exciting after the boys plan to put on a home-grown circus. Gutteridge weaves an atmospheric tale that plays Junior’s carefree disposition against his mother’s relentless longing and Gram’s practicality. Gutteridge’s characters are thoroughly convincing and consistently realistic in their interactions: they sound like actual people, with their hopes, dreams, aspirations, insecurities, fears, and struggles. Gutteridge’s prose is expert and lyrical, creating a YA coming-of-age story that is realistic in its mundane goings-on. Friendship, connections among family, and teenage desires, passion, and angst are presented thoughtfully. While there is no shortage of novels offering a realistic vision of the World War II era, this one manages to stand out both in its realism and its portrayal of individual and familial struggles in the face of the war. An affecting YA coming-of-age tale that manages to feel both urgent and timeless.

***

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s