The Summer House Party

Written by Caro Fraser
Review by Marilyn Sherlock

It is summer 1936, and Sonia Haddon is hosting a party at a country house in Surrey. A motley collection of people is there, and it is their stories and the way they interact with each other that is the essence of this novel. Three years later, WW2 breaks out, which alters all their lives.

When I started reading this book, I thought it yet another story mismatched as an historical novel, which would be better described as a romance or just general reading, as it could be set in any place at any time, but as I progressed, it took on the identity of the late 1930s and ’40s and became a real page turner. The characters are well drawn, and the reader becomes involved with their lives and what happens to them. The war has a great deal to do with all that happens, as the life they knew and took for granted slowly disappears. I had not read any of this author’s books before but will certainly look out for them in future. She has a firm hold on the time and place in which she sets her story, and I enjoyed it very much.