Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: Norfolk Broads, Norfolk

Swallowtail Summer

Swallowtail Summer

Why a Booktrail?

2000s:  They thought they were friends for life – until one summer, everything changed . . .


  • ISBN: 978-1409173762
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Linston End on the Norfolk Broads has been the holiday home to three families for many years. The memories of their time there are ingrained in their hearts: picnics on the river, gin and tonics in the pavilion at dusk, hours spent seeking out the local swallowtail butterflies. Everyone together.

But widower Alastair has been faced with a few of life’s surprises recently. Now, he is about to shock his circle of friends with the decisions he has made – and the changes it will mean for them all. For some, it feels like the end. For others, it might just be the beginning . . .

Travel Guide

Sail away to the Norfolk Broads with Swallowtail Summer

The novel is set in and around the Norfolk Broads -a  lovely scenic place to spend time on a boat, reading a book and both together when you read Swallowtail Summer!

There’s a real sense of what it’s like to spend time in this part of the world. The Norfolk Broads is countryside, canals, walks, picnics and the wonderful wildlife that populates the area and indeed the novel. The Swallowtail of the title is a butterfly and it flutters in and out of the pages as you read.

This region is important to those in the book. It’s the area where they spent childhood holidays and it’s where many memories were formed. Years later, one returns and wants to sell his house. He also brings with him a new love and these changes are to ripple and muddy the calm waters.

The water and wildlife are vital characters in the novel but the water also provides the dark moments in the book. It’s not all nice and safe. Sometimes the water can be a very dangerous place and there are plenty of safety standards and rules that must be respected when sailing and playing near water.

Booktrailer Review

Erica James always writes about interesting people, people with secrets and stories that have layers of light and dark. This is no exception and despite the sunny cover, there’s some serious threads and issues in this book to think about.

Once it gets going, I enjoyed getting to meet the characters. Alaister who is back in Norfolk after travelling, following the loss of his wife. He returns, and decides to change his life and his house. His childhood friends realise this is going to affect them too. The past is coming back to haunt them and make each of them consider their lives in turn. I did feel a bit for Alaistair as his friends don’t exactly react as you think to his news. Change is hard for many people though and so I imagine this giving book groups a lot to mull over.

Norfolk does sound lovely! The canals, the boats, picnics…I’ve never been to the Norfolk Broads but I wish Linston was real! You can almost hear the water lapping, the birds singing and that butterfly of the title flutter around you as you read.

It’s sad and melacholy in places but that sun and Erica’s wonderful way with words makes it a character study with heart.

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Swallowtail Summer

Destination: Norfolk, Norfolk Broads   Author/guide: Erica James  Departure: 2000s

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