The Land Of Summer

Written by Charlotte Bingham
Review by Gwen Sly

1880s Massachusetts: ‘Poor’ Emmaline Nesbitt, being the eldest of four sisters, had always understood from her mother that she must marry. At the ball for her 25th birthday she was still awaiting her first proposal and had come to believe that it would never happen. On this evening, as ever the wallflower, she found herself being swept off her feet.

Julius Aubrey, the debonair and handsome proprietor of Aubrey & Aubrey, purveyors and designers of fine English furniture, had come to America with a business proposition for Emmaline’s father, the wealthy owner of the Nesbitt & Nesbitt Catalogue. Some weeks later in England, after her indeed hasty marriage to Julius, Emmaline discovers that life in Somerset has a mysterious edge…

The Land of Summer is, for the most part, an amusing story where prose is often interspersed with poetry. Charlotte Bingham has a way with words and writes with erudition. The atmosphere of late Victorian England, although seldom addressed directly, is conveyed wonderfully.

Tighter proofreading would have been useful, but the book shows the author’s sense of fun and her ability to embroider a story well. Written in Ms Bingham’s characteristic style it is a lively, enjoyable and easy to read historical novel which only awaits being adapted into a play for the small screen.