Midweek @ Musings: August Readalong – Elizabeth Taylor’s “In a Summer Season”

It’s been a few months since my last Midweek @ Musings post (life does get away from me sometimes), but I finally found something to say on a Wednesday!

The 2012 Elizabeth Taylor Centenary continues in August with Taylor’s eighth novel, In a Summer Season.  Our host is Karen @ Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings. Karen is relatively new to blogging, but has dived in with both feet and I’m enjoying her bookish thoughts both on what she’s read, and bookish excursions like this recent crawl through a used bookshop.

The description on the novel’s back cover reads:

” ‘You taste of rain,’ he said, kissing her. ‘People say I married her for her money,’ he thought contentedly, and for the moment was full of the self-respect that loving her had given him.”

Kate Heron is a wealthy charming widow who marries a man ten years her junior: the attractive, feckless Dermot. They live in commuter country, an hour from London. Theirs is an unconventional marriage, but a happy one. Their special love arms them against the disapproval of conservative friends and neighbors – until the return of Kate’s old friend Charles, intelligent, kind, now widowed with a beautiful daughter. Happily, she watches as their two families are drawn together, finding his presence reassuringly familiar. But then one night she dreams a strange and sensual dream: a dream that disturbs the calm surface of their friendship – foreshadowing dramas fate holds in store for them all.

I read In a Summer Season in 2009, and gave it 3 stars.  I didn’t enjoy it as much as the two I’d read before (A View of the Harbour and Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont).  I might feel differently today, as I’ve come to appreciate Taylor’s talents all the more.  And with each monthly discussion, I gain new insights on this talented author.

Karen kicked things off last weekend with this introductory post, and today she published her plans for weekly discussion topics.  I hope you’ll visit her blog often and join in the conversation.  And when you’ve reviewed the book, be sure to share it via the “Mr. Linky” on my Elizabeth Taylor Centenary page.  There’s also discussion happening on LibraryThing, and on Facebook.

Enjoy In a Summer Season!


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6 thoughts on “Midweek @ Musings: August Readalong – Elizabeth Taylor’s “In a Summer Season”

  1. This book was my introduction to Elizabeth Taylor. I started off sort of ‘meh’ and then something sparked and I was hooked! I should probably pull it out for a reread and start the worshipping from the first page.

    Hats off to you for being ‘head office’ for this centenary celebration, Laura.

    • Darlene, you should definitely re-read for nostalgia reasons if nothing else! Thank you, too, for your kind comments about the centenary. And while I have your attention, I should also mention I’m about to start knitting those “Honeysuckle Weeks” socks! I wonder if I can find a Foyle episode to watch at the same time? 🙂

  2. I finished this today, it is the second time I had read it, and I enjoyed it a lot – but I struggled to write my review – it took me hours and I felt I didn’t quite capture the novel, sometimes I find it so hard – but anyway I still enjoyed it. I had once thought In a summer Season would be my favourite ET novel, but that when I hadn’t read many. Now there are just 2 I have never read, and I think A Game of Hide and Seek is now my favourite, still I think In a summer season is excellent. There is a wonderfully summery sexy feel to it, and I love the minor characters.

    • Ali, I know all about that difficulty writing a review. Sometimes my words just don’t do a book justice. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. I will probably re-read it someday. It would be a very different experience now that I have a much better appreciation of her work.

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