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Ali Smith
2020, 378 p.

At centre stage in this novel is Sacha Greenlaw, a 16-year-old girl living with her brother and divorced mother, a former actress. Together the three of them take us through the summer months, sharing stories of the past and future. Words tumble out on top of each other, not always leading to the three living together better. But there are also new friends to meet. These new friends come from Smith's earlier work because Summer is the closing part of the Four Seasons project that she has been working on over the past four years. Making a statement on the world today, but also spinning a fine thread through the lives of her main characters, running from the outbreak of the Second World War and how foreigners were expelled from society and locked away in camps to a refugee seeking asylum today and also touching on Covid 19 and other recent events. Summer is not about a plot, and not even about the plot covering the sequence of her Four Seasons book. It is about prose and about understanding a world we all share. It is about letting in the lightness of the summer season. Making wonderful prose and wondering about the meaning of it all.


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