Do you have any summers that stick out for you in your past? I definitely do. 2001 was the summer I stayed at college and had a blast. 1988 was a summer we went on a family trip to Washington DC. I also went to church camp . . . and caught headlice. I remember both being very hot and dry summers.
In the summer of 1967 in the small Wisconsin city of Willow Creek, two siblings are about to have their lives changed forever. Billy has enlisted in the Army and finds his world altered by his tour of Vietnam. His sister Jay has her world changed when one of her three best friends decides she no longer wants to be friends. A newcomer to their conservative town, Paul, brings anti-war sentiments that don’t match anything that Jay has heard from anyone in her town. As she starts to receive disturbing drawings from her brother Billy, she starts to wonder, is Vietnam really the just war to end communism that she has been led to believe?
Suddenly That Summer is an intriguing book. I really liked the alternating chapters telling both Billy and Jay’s points of view. The harsh realities of the war in Vietnam are juxtaposed against Jay’s summer and her changing views on the war in Vietnam. I also like how this is visualized on the very nice cover of this book by having the girls with a seemingly happy summer on the top with their shadows being soldiers in Vietnam.I loved how both Billy and Jay have a coming-of-age journey through the novel as they both try to work through the expectations they have been taught by family and their town, and what the realities are in their ever-changing world. I really liked the ending of this book. It also has great questions at the conclusion of the novel and would be a great book to discuss at a book club.
Book Source: Review Copy
from author Lori Handeland. Thank-you! I
received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the TLC Book Tour.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.