The Summer Country

The Summer Country Review

The New York Times bestselling historical novelist delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping, dramatic Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

1854. From Bristol to Barbados. . . .

Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous merchant clan—merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day. But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheiritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados—a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned.

When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts.

Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins? Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills—so eager that they invite Emily and her cousins to stay with them indefinitely? Emily finds herself bewitched by the beauty of the island even as she’s drawn into the personalities and politics of forty years before: a tangled history of clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.

When family secrets begin to unravel and the harsh truth of history becomes more and more plain, Emily must challenge everything she thought she knew about her family, their legacy . . . and herself.

Title:The Summer Country
Edition Language:English

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    The Summer Country Reviews

  • Beata

    This was a perfect summer HF read for me: exotic setting, a mystery and wonderful narration. THE SUMMER COUNTRY had me invested from the start, with its story of a young English vicar's daughter who g...

  • Bkwmlee

    It’s not often that I come across a book where I fall in love almost instantly not just with the characters, but also with the setting, the story, the writing – basically everything about the book...

  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    A run-down sugar plantation was the last thing Emily thought her uncle would leave to her, but Emily was thrilled about it even though her cousin wasn't.Emily, her cousin, and his wife traveled to Ba...

  • Berit???

    𝔹𝕖𝕒𝕦π•₯π•šπ•—π•¦π• 𝕀𝕖π•₯π•₯π•šπ•Ÿπ•˜. 𝕃𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕝π•ͺ 𝕀π•₯𝕠𝕣π•ͺ .Lauren Willig will completely captivate you with this sweeping family saga. A beautifu...

  • Camille Maio

    Lauren Willig's THE SUMMER COUNTRY is a sumptuous read, evoking M.M. Kaye's lush and sweeping tales of nineteenth century colonial life. Set in the island location of Barbados, Willig attains the idea...

  • Libby

    Lauren Willig’s attention to historical detail really shines in β€˜The Summer Country.’ Barbados seen through the eyes of Emily Dawson in 1854 unspools like the opening petals of the frangipani. A...

  • Lisa Zetes

    I want to thank Haper Collins for this ARC. I do love Historical novels but did find this one a little slow in the beginning. Trying to go back and forth from the year 1812 to the year 1854 Barbados a...

  • Tammy

    I read a lot of historical fiction and noticed the genre seems to be WW2 heavy. I just finished The Summer Country and absolutely loved it. Yes, it’s historical fiction but a subject not widely know...

  • Literary Soirιe

    This is my first Willig, a gorgeous narrative set in exotic Barbados in 1812 and 1854. Emily Dawson inherits Peverills, a sugar plantation destroyed by an uprising of slaves. Owners of the adjacent pl...

  • Mellie Antoinette

    As my 4th Willigian tome, I have to say this is an incredibly good story. The characters fit the stage, the stage outfitted the scene in beautiful tropical tones and the story swept you from beginning...