Sunday, July 17, 2016

Review and Giveaway: At the Edge of Summer by Jessica Brockmole

Title: At the Edge of Summer 
Author: Jessica Brockmole
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publish Date: May 17, 2016
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From "Luc Crépet is accustomed to his mother’s bringing wounded creatures to their idyllic château in the French countryside, where healing comes naturally amid the lush wildflowers and crumbling stone walls. Yet his maman’s newest project is the most surprising: a fifteen-year-old Scottish girl grieving over her parents’ fate. A curious child with an artistic soul, Clare Ross finds solace in her connection to Luc, and she in turn inspires him in ways he never thought possible. Then, just as suddenly as Clare arrives, she is gone, whisked away by her grandfather to the farthest reaches of the globe. Devastated by her departure, Luc begins to write letters to Clare—and, even as she moves from Portugal to Africa and beyond, the memory of the summer they shared keeps her grounded.

Years later, in the wake of World War I, Clare, now an artist, returns to France to help create facial prostheses for wounded soldiers. One of the wary veterans who comes to the studio seems familiar, and as his mask takes shape beneath her fingers, she recognizes Luc. But is this soldier, made bitter by battle and betrayal, the same boy who once wrote her wistful letters from Paris? After war and so many years apart, can Clare and Luc recapture how they felt at the edge of that long-ago summer?"

My Two Cents:

Ah, summer! Sometimes you need the perfect book to come along and take you through the hottest months. "At the Edge of Summer" is a good book for that. Featuring a love story between Luc and Clare set against the devastation of WWI, this was a good book to while away an afternoon. Told partially through letters between the characters, this is a historical fiction love story that had me by the heart.

There is something about epistolary books that I absolutely love. For me, letters are one of the best ways to get your point across truthfully and with the most feeling possible. The letters really allow the readers to get a really good understanding of the characters and what made them tick. I loved the story between Luc and Clare. It's very romantic seeing how they break apart and then are put back together again. I thought the author did a great job of capturing how both of the main characters change and shift throughout the book!

Also, I loved the inclusion of the art of creating prostheses during WWI. I had never really given much thought to what a person suffering some sort of war related disfigurement would do at that time. We get to see the process of making masks to not only hide the disfigurement but to improve the morale of the soldiers. Clare is one of the artists who is able to create these masks. I love when I can learn something from the books that I am reading and this was certainly eye-opening for me!

This is a good read with great writing. I know Luc and Clare will be on my mind long after I finished the last page!   


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  1. I recently picked up this book and Jessica's Letters from Skye because of the great reviews. Your review has me even more excited to read Summer!

  2. Great review! I am very curious about life during this time in our history and I've never read a historical fiction book with medical point of view before. I love that you found the characters to be really well written and not paper cutouts.

  3. I really liked this book. I was trying to get her earlier book but couldn't, then I stumbled across this one and was delighted.

  4. Thank you for the opportunity to participate. This book is right up my alley. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the review.

  5. Love the cover. I, also, love the setting of the story and the time period.
    bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

  6. Thanks for this captivating historical which I would enjoy greatly.

  7. Loved, Loved, Loved Letters from Skye. I have high hopes for this one. Can't wait to read it.


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