The Last Summer

The Last Summer

4.5 16
by Judith Kinghorn
     
 

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I was almost seventeen when the spell of my childhood was broken...It was the beginning of summer and, unbeknown to any of us then, the end of a belle epoque...

In July of 1914, innocent, lovely Clarissa Granville lives with her parents and three brothers in the idyllic isolation of Deyning Park, a grand English country house, where she whiles away her

Overview

I was almost seventeen when the spell of my childhood was broken...It was the beginning of summer and, unbeknown to any of us then, the end of a belle epoque...

In July of 1914, innocent, lovely Clarissa Granville lives with her parents and three brothers in the idyllic isolation of Deyning Park, a grand English country house, where she whiles away her days enjoying house parties, country walks and tennis matches. Clarissa is drawn to Tom Cuthbert, the housekeeper's handsome son. Though her parents disapprove of their upstairs-downstairs friendship, the two are determined to see each other, and they meet in secret to share what becomes a deep and tender romance. But soon the winds of war come to Deyning, as they come to all of Europe. As Tom prepares to join the front lines, neither he nor Clarissa can envision what lies ahead of them in the dark days and years to come. Nor can they imagine how their love will be tested, or how they will treasure the memory of this last, perfect summer.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A sumptuous, absorbing tale of love in time of war." —Rachel Hore, author of A Place of Secrets

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451416636
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/31/2012
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
157,448
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A sumptuous, absorbing tale of love in time of war." —-Rachel Hore, author of A Place of Secrets

Meet the Author

Judith Kinghorn was born in Northumberland, educated in the Lake District, and is a graduate in English and History of Art. She lives in England with her husband and two children.

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The Last Summer 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I like how the author sets the story during the early twentieth century during WWI. It is a great story of forbidden love. The story wasn't the usual love story, where boy meet girl, they fall in love, and live happily ever after. This story shows how war affects people and how getting old brings about so much change. This is a story of love that lasts beyond the young and Innocent. I love how it shows that nothing can change true love. It shows how the characters grow and change, but no matter what, Clarissa and Tom's love  lives on through the years. Great book to bring you back to that time and envy such a powerful love as theirs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For those of you who are romantics, this book will take hold of your heart. For those of you who are also historically inclined, the book will give you a glimpse into what it was like to live through the Great War/WWI. From the first page to the last it will hold your attention and capture your emotions..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, the writing is enthralling, magical and beautiful. I haven't read someting this beautifully written in quite a while. The story is unbelievably detailed; there is a perfect mix of suspense and a fulfillment of expectaions without being cliche. It was the perfect catch 22 of not wanting the story to end and not being able to put it down. I had to force myself to stop reading at 4:30 in the morning! Great read, great characters, great writing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, I really felt for Tom and Clarissa, their love affected by family, society and the war. Story was well written with with some nice twists in the story. I wanted to read more.
n00kw0rm More than 1 year ago
The only thing that I didn't like about this book is that it ended. I could have read on and on about Tom and Clarissa. Set in a time right before World War I changed the world. When servants and noblepeople knew "their place" So much heartache and missed chances.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was so well written and just could not put it down. Not only would I read it on my lunch break, but could not wait to get home and read it. The story of Tom and Clarissa's love for each other is powerful. Can't wait for Judith Kinghorn next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While it had so much potential, I did not enjoy this book. There was no relationship development between the two characters. Through the three fourths of the book I read before I quit, the characters go from being two teenagers sneaking their relationship from their parents' to two adults hiding their relationship from their significant others. I was expecting after reading other reviews for it to be somewhat similar to Downton Abbey, but was disappointed. I did not find the book to be period accurate, I the ongoing relationship between two characters would have been subject of much more gossip than the book portrayed. The author has a good writing style, I just wish Clarissa developed from the naive seventeen year old she was at the beginning of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has easily become one of my favorite novels. Kinghorn's descriptions make you want to linger in a beautiful garden while the plot line pulls you into Clarissa's world-- making it impossible to put this book down! If you want to look at life from a marvelous new perspective- and maybe even have a good cry- this book is for you!  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept my interest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. Beautifully written and full of lovely characters. A must-read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! could not put it down...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in two days! Beautiful setting with a story about how true love can endure anything. If you are a romantic, I highly reccommend this novel.
BookbuffHL More than 1 year ago
This book impacted me so much that I became emotional the entire time i was reading it. While at somepoints i did grow irritated with the back and forth and the excuses for the two main characters to get it together, there is a somewhat happy ending. wish it would have come sooner, but it was still a fantasic book set in WW1 with a lot of historical detail. If you are a fan of war romance and are ready to deal with a tragedy that eventually leads to a mostly happy ending, that take a read!!! I wasnt dissapointed in this book and couddn't put it down. I listed the audiobook and it was great! Cheap on itunes also!
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Clarissa Granville introduces the reader to idyllic world of her home, Deyning Park, an English country home of the aristocracy.  She spends her days learning to be the proper English wife of another upper class gentleman but the majority of her early story concerns her long, rambling walks around the estate. It’s a dreamy, solitary world she loves which is beginning to be tainted by talk of impending war in Europe (WWI).  Early on in the novel, she falls in love with a servant’s son, Tom Cuthbert.  Tom is the “bastard” child who because of that association has been granted the unheard of privilege of attending Oxford University to prepare for a career in law.  Clarissa’s mother does everything in her power to block this “friendship” from growing but impressively fails to deny what has already grown roots.  Clarissa’s father is sidetracked by failing finances, unknown to the rest of the family, and her brothers are intent on living life to the fullest and then doing one’s patriotic duty for England in the War. Clarissa’s romance bears tragic consequences and her friends manage to help her repress her tremendous depression with parties, drink and “morphia.”  But eventually it all comes crashing down, along with other terrible losses, exemplified by stark descriptions of the battle fields abroad teeming with blood, gas, life-altering wounds and death in all its grisly reality.   The novel continues to progress from that naive dreamlike state to an almost surrealistic brutality in which every character’s life is dramatically, emphatically changed forever.  But love will survive and it does so for Clarissa and Tom in spite of marriages, separation by an ocean and years, and the interfering efforts of well-intentioned but hypocritical family members who preach what they do not practice.   The novel is obviously well-researched regarding WWI and its effects on members of all classes.  What is particularly outstanding about this story, however, is the beautiful quality of Kinghorn’s prose which parallels the mental and emotional ambience of each time period portrayed before, during and after the war.  While some have compared this novel to The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, this reviewer found the similar aspects of both novels to be more credible herein as the gaiety is more of a desperate attempt at escapism than anything else, not really a celebration in any true sense of the term. While the characters may be somewhat stereotypical, the complex plot of this novel is extraordinary and holds the reader mesmerized from the first to last page. Extraordinary historical fiction and highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do not buy this version of the book. There are huge chunks missing and you miss integral parts of the story. The writing is fantastic if the story is predictable. I also thought it was unrealistic that the main character just throws off a drug addiction. There is some very good insight into England after the war.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago