Summer of Light: A Novel

Summer of Light: A Novel

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by W. Dale Cramer

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From the Christy Award-winning Author of Levi's Will

"You never know what the day will bring..."

Mick Brannigan, a construction worker, loses a good-paying job because of some freak accident, sort of his fault but not his fault. Adding insult to injury, he finds himself playing nursemaid to his three kids.

"Mick's whole life felt like an accident.


From the Christy Award-winning Author of Levi's Will

"You never know what the day will bring..."

Mick Brannigan, a construction worker, loses a good-paying job because of some freak accident, sort of his fault but not his fault. Adding insult to injury, he finds himself playing nursemaid to his three kids.

"Mick's whole life felt like an accident..."

Even more flustered is his wife, Layne, now forced to get a job to keep a paycheck coming in. Mick isn't the stay-at-home-dad type, she's sure. He's a good dad--when she is there to supervise it all...the unrelenting daily stuff. Keeping the house clean, food in the fridge. Attacking the ever-mounting laundry. Supervising their five acres of land and the menagerie of animals....

"It wasn't his idea to stay home with the kids..."

A lot is on the line, and just how the Brannigan family will survive--that is, without anyone getting seriously hurt or killed, the kids not ending up psychologically and emotionally damaged, the laundry not undoing their marriage--all remains to be seen....

Packed with humor, true-to-life characters, and themes to enlighten the soul, Summer of Light is altogether poignant, witty, entertaining, and delightfully down-to-earth.

Editorial Reviews

Mike Sanders
After reading the book, I suspected that Mr. Cramer had spent some time in the trenches. His stories of a full time father's life ring too true to be a simple work of fiction. It is as if he were sometimes peeking into our household to see what being a full time dad is all about....
When I pick up a novel I need to be entertained. If a book makes me laugh, I'll cruise through it quickly. Because of that, I found Summer of Light a quick read and I am looking forward to checking out the rest of Mr. Cramer's work.
Jill Stovall
While reading this book I felt as though I came to know a generous and gifted man. His humbleness and quiet strength were qualities that set him apart. And be assured that he proves that fatherhood can be a man's most important role in life.
Publishers Weekly
As its title would suggest, Cramer's fourth novel is lighter and less gritty than its critically acclaimed predecessors (Levi's Will; Bad Ground), but it is a thoughtful and engaging read. When ironworker Mick Brannigan loses his construction job, he becomes a stay-at-home dad to his three children. Especially troublesome is four-year-old Dylan, who may have sensory integration dysfunction (and is in trouble for such things as licking the day-care teacher's ankle because he likes the texture of pantyhose on his tongue). The Brannigans' Georgia neighbors include a snobbish, wealthy couple and the contrasting Hap Harrelson, a grizzled fix-it man in unbuttoned overalls who is accompanied by a pack of beagles. A handless, homeless man (who faintly echoes a messianic character in Cramer's debut novel, Sutter's Cross) serves as sort of a supernatural figure. Layne Brannigan, a paralegal, is a strong woman figure for faith fiction, both nurturing of her family and talented in her profession. Cramer allows Mick to be reasonably competent but thoroughly male in his parenting style, and Mick's discovery of his creative talent for photography is an uplifting addition. Although the plot feels pieced together and Cramer occasionally narrates instead of letting the story unfold, the enjoyable cast of characters will keep the reader interested. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

In Cramer's follow-up to his Christy Award-winning titles (Bad Ground; Levi's Will), he introduces another strong male protagonist, Mick Brannigan, an iron worker who is forced into becoming a stay-at-home dad after an on-the-job accident. Mick is uncomfortable with this new role in which he must learn to rediscover himself, his relationship with his family, and his purpose in life. While lacking the raw edginess of Cramer's earlier works, this novel is well written and entertaining, and the author does a good job of exploring the different parts men play in society and with each other. Although not as compelling as the previous novels, Summer of Lightdeserves a place in most public libraries and will appeal to male readers. Cramer resides in Georgia.

—Tamara Butler Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
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2 MB

What People are saying about this

Randall Murphree
"Dale Cramer is batting a thousand now, with four home-run novels, each one popping with gritty heroes, gripping conflict and great plots. While his peers in the Christian fiction genre routinely hit everything from pop flies to triples, Cramer belts it out of the park again with Summer of Light...."--(Randall Murphree,
Terry South
"Dale Cramer has a unique writing style, and he draws you into the story. His characters are so believable and the story contains vivid accounts and details. Cramer has a gift for telling a great story that is driven by his characters, which are engaging, strong in emotion and believe in what they are doing. They are so well-developed that by the end of the book, you feel as if you have gained new friends.
This is contemporary fiction at its finest, engaging and surprisingly humorous at times; it also is an emotional story and will touch your heart. I highly recommend this book to anyone whether male or female looking for a light but touching read. I enjoy this author's work and he brings new elements into his story while still retaining his unique voice."--(Terry South,
Kristy Pelletier
"I couldn't put this book down. It was incredible to read the stay at home parent's perspective from the dad's side. Throughout the book you watch Mick's relationship not only with God grow, but his family as well. W. Dale Cramer adds just enough humor to keep you laughing and waiting to see what happens next."--(Kristy Pelletier,
Laura V. Hilton
"Summer of Light is a book that Cramer's fans will not want to miss. Excellent male characterization, a strong setting, and faith message that is important." --(Laura V. Hilton, faithwebbinet)
Marcia Ford
"Anyone who figures that Dale Cramer is a couple of books overdue for the inevitable sophomore jinx may as well give up. Summer of Light is his fourth book, and it's every bit as captivating as the previous three --- maybe even more so. With some authors, you can figure on reading only a few pages or a chapter to see if it's worth it. Not so with Cramer. His storytelling is so compelling, his writing style so exquisite that the reader doesn't stand a chance. He makes you resent your need to sleep and work and live a normal life; all you want to do is keep reading.
What sets Cramer apart as an author is his apparent insistence on strengthening every element of his novels to the max. There just aren't any weaknesses. As always, his characters are the people we see everyday, the people we know, the people who actually live and breathe and populate our communities. The dialogue reflects conversations you've heard and participated in. The story rings true. The imagery is nothing short of magnificent. And the ending is, as always, just right.
Summer of Light is a warm, engaging book --- and, like all of Cramer's novels, a rarity in contemporary fiction: a novel that will appeal to men without sacrificing the interest of female readers."--(Marcia Ford,

Meet the Author

W. Dale Cramer, author of critically acclaimed novels Bad Ground and Levi's Will, lives in McDonough, Georgia, with his wife, Pam, and their two sons.
Dale Cramer is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed novel Levi's Will, based on the story of Dale's father, a runaway Amishman. Dale's latest series, THE DAUGHTERS OF CALEB BENDER, is based on an Amish colony in the mountains of Mexico where three generations of his family lived in the 1920s. He currently lives in Georgia with his wife of 36 years, two sons and a Bernese Mountain Dog named Rupert. Visit him on his website at

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Summer of Light 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
gizmoNC More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed. Well written, not your usual characters, and with an underlying stream of pure humor. Loved every page, so sad when I finished.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Fantastic author. I love all his books.
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