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The Summer Country: A Novel (Paperback)
"Tense, atmospheric, and gorgeously written, The Summer Country is a novel to savor!" – Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network
A brilliant, multigenerational saga in the tradition of The Thorn Birds and North and South, New York Times bestselling historical novelist Lauren Willig delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.
Barbados, 1854: Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous English 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 inheritance: 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? The answer lies in the past— a tangled history of lies, greed, clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.
THE SUMMER COUNTRY will beguile readers with its rendering of families, heartbreak, and the endurance of hope against all odds.
About the Author
Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty novels, including The Summer Country, The Ashford Affair, and The English Wife, as well as the RITA Award–winning Pink Carnation series. An alumna of Yale University, she has a graduate degree in history from Harvard and a JD from Harvard Law School. She lives in New York City with her husband, kindergartner, toddler, and vast quantities of coffee.
“Powerful, emotional, beautiful, and historically fascinating, The Summer Country is a simply breathtaking saga. This is the kind of book you fall into, that absorbs you for the entire time you are reading it and that after, haunts you.... long after.”
— M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of Tiffany Blues
“In this evocative family saga, The Summer Country, Willig sweeps the reader away to the heartbreak of colonial Barbados, where love across the color line is forbidden, and the repercussions of slavery’s cruelty echoes through the generations. Bold and beautifully told, with unexpected twists, the puzzle pieces fit together with a satisfying click. Brava!”
— Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of My Dear Hamilton
“Lauren Willig’s The Summer Country is a sumptuous read, evoking M.M. Kaye’s lush and sweeping tales of nineteenth century colonial life. I read The Summer Country slowly—doling out exquisite chapters one at a time—because there are too few books written today that harken back to that delicious way of storytelling that doesn’t rush things just to keep up with modern trends. I would count this one as a new classic and encourage every reader who cares about quality writing to quickly add this one to their list of to-be-favorites.”
— Camille Di Maio, author of The Beautiful Strangers
“So steeped in Caribbean culture, my hands were sweating while turning the pages. Lauren Willig has ventured to story territory near and dear to my heart. The Summer Country is a daring, meticulously researched narrative of complicated love. A hot summer read for historical fiction fans!”
— Sarah McCoy, New York Times bestselling author of Marilla of Green Gables
“Tense, atmospheric, and gorgeously written, The Summer Country is a novel to savor!”
— Kate Quinn, author of The Huntress
“I’ve been waiting for a book like this to come along: an epic family saga simmering with secrets, gorgeously told. Lauren Willig brings her exotic island setting to life with such exquisite sensory detail I lost myself completely. It’s a story to be savored, a book you will keep on your shelf to read again and again. The Summer Country is a masterpiece.”
— Jamie Brenner, bestselling author of Drawing Home