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  • Location: Sussex, England

The Last Summer

The Last Summer

Why a Booktrail?

WW1: Be transported literally by falling in love against the backdrop of WW1 and see the war through those left behind. Share the love of two people separated and the secrets that war can harbour.

  • ISBN: 978-0755385997
  • Genre: Historical, Romance

What you need to know before your trail

The moving and poignant story a girl, Clarissa, set to enter the world her parents have set out for her as a beautiful young woman. But when WW1 is declared, everyone realises that nothing will ever be the same again. The family home at Deyning Park will change dramatically against the backdrop of the war and Clarissa’s life will perhaps change the most of all for it is there that she meets Tom – the son of the housekeeper and the love affair which follows spans the many changes that war brings and the hope and fear it leaves behind.

Travel Guide

Deyning Park is the grand house where Clarissa lives with her parents and three older brothers, Henry, George and William. The house was ‘built in the neoclassical style from honey-hued stone’ and has ‘a multitude of tall windows’. From her window, she could look beyond ‘the six hundred acres of landscape gardens to the South downs in the distance. Clarissa sees her world as a prison of sorts –

‘It was the only point in my vision that my father did not own, and I sometimes wondered who lived there,beyond my world, beyond Deyning.’

Tom Cuthbert, the son of a gardener is someone who Clarissa immediately likes but who is considered below her social standing.

They first meet in a library – she often resorts to reading and spending time in the library to escape from what she considers to be her gilded cage.

Tom and Clarissa grow close but their relationship is both passionate and strained. They are often apart from each other and can only often meet in secret. When the war breaks out Tom and the men in Clarissa’s life are somewhat lost to her. This is where we see the changes in Deyning Park and the place of women and indeed men in society.

Factually accurate details of wartime and the class systems of the time have been woven into the narrative, and issues such as the suffragettes, the changing political climate of Europe and the threat of war are omnipresent.

Trail Gallery

Booktrailer Review

Susan @thebooktrailer

The love affair that unfolds between Clarissa and Tom is haunting, moving, frustrating yet utterly captivating and when they discover a secret about their mutual past, I admit I cried out in shock and surprise as they themselves would have done.

The first person narrative really lends itself well to this tale as only by inhabiting someone else’s mind can we really feel and sense the confusion of the time and the inner thoughts of those left behind by war.

While the love story of Tom and Clarissa’s relationship is weaved into each and every page, the last summer is so much more than a love story.

It’s a story about war time and how men and women had their independent struggles to contend with – the men were sent away to fight and often die whilst the women at home had to struggle on and mourn together, keeping everything together for the sake of their families.

It’s a story that immerses you in the time and place of  a young girl wanting to escape society’s expectations of her. A poetic love story set against a backdrop of lost hope and despair. Haunting.

Booktrail Boarding Pass Information:

Twitter: @judithkinghorn

Facebook: /writerjudithkinghorn

Web: judithkinghornwriter.com

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