In the present, Sacha knows the world's in trouble. Her brother Robert just is trouble. Their mother and father are having trouble. Meanwhile the world's in meltdown - and the real meltdown hasn't even started yet. In the past, a lovely summer. A different brother and sister know they're living on borrowed time.

This is a story about people on the brink of change. They're family, but they think they're strangers. So: where does family begin? And what do people who think they've got nothing in common have in common?


Our Review

I read Ali Smith’s Summer without reading the rest of the quartet and I think that was a mistake. I enjoyed reading it, but I feel as though I would have enjoyed it more if I read the whole set.

Summer initially focuses on Sascha and her family. Her brother Robert is a genius who has suddenly started causing as much trouble as possible. Her father has moved in with their next-door neighbour and their mother is apparently ok with that.

The opening lines of the book got me hooked but I did find my attention wandered later on but like I say I feel as though reading the other books in the series would have been beneficial.

Summer captures brilliantly the political currents of the past few years.

“It got fashionable, too, to insist the people who did care, or said they cared, were either hopeless losers or were just showing off.

It’s like a lifetime ago.

But it isn’t – it’s literally a few months since a time when people who’d lived in this country all their lives or most of their lives started to get arrested and threatened with deportation or deported:


And when a government shut down it’s own parliament because it couldn’t get the result it wanted: So?

When so many people voted people into power who looked them straight in the eye and lied to them: So?

When people in power across the world started picking off groups of people by religion, ethnicity, sexuality, intellectual or political dissents: So?

But no. True. Not everybody said it.

Not by a country mile.

Millions of people didn’t say it.”

I enjoyed the first half of the novel more than the second but I would still buy it for a friend or family member but I would buy the whole quartet.


Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 3.5/5

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