Our Summer Together by Fanny Blake

At this time of year I am always looking for a summer holiday read. A book I can lie by the pool with, which will engage me and stop me dozing off while absorbing the rays and sipping a Pina Colada. Fanny Blake’s novel Our Summer Together fits this brief.

Fanny Blake was a publisher, editor and freelance writer before she embarked on being a novelist. This is the first book of hers I have read.

The story is a familiar one. Caro has spent her married life being a mother, grandmother and a daughter. She has offered advice to her grown up daughters, looked after her grandson Danny and been supportive to her ageing Mother. Life seemed to be moving along in a gentle predictable fashion when her role as a wife is shaken to the core. Her husband Chris leaves to move in with a younger woman, Georgie, and starts a new family.

At 61 years Caro feels her world has fallen apart and she has no future except the caring of others. A chance meeting on a train changes all this. She meets a Bosnian refugee Damir. Fifteen years her junior with a history of pain and loss from the war, she invites him to be her lodger. A relationship between them begins and Caro discovers self-belief, independence and she starts to realise there is more to life than being a carer. Her sexuality too is awoken and she no longer feels invisible to the world. Through this new friendship she sees how sterile her marriage had become and why things had disintegrated between her and her husband Chris.

As the relationship with Damir strengthens she learns to let go of her children and they learn to let go of her.

The story is written with warmth, humour and perception. It is about adjustment, acceptance and change. Fanny Blake’s message is that new relationships and life changes can happen at anytime and we should not be afraid to embrace them.

Click here to buy this book from Amazon.

Also read all about the author, Fanny Blake,  as featured in our Woman of the Week article.