THE SUMMER HOUSE – Marcia Willett
Thomas Dunne Books (Hardcover)
Exmoor in Southwest England, the Present
THE SUMMER HOUSE presents us with an ensemble of interesting characters, all related in some way . . . by blood, by marriage, by friendship. The story is anchored in the venerable house known as the High House, in contrast to the cottage built lower on the property, the Summer House, which will become a bone of contention between a husband and wife. Both belong to Milo, a generous man, whose doors are always open to those he loves.
It's hard to name any one person as the central character in this novel—most are nicely fleshed out—though I'd have to pick Matt; he's the one with a mystery to solve. He and his sister Imogen spent a lot of their growing up years in the area and look upon Milo and Lottie—Milo's younger sister-in-law—as God-parents of sorts.
Matt has always been imaginative, and all his life he's somehow felt an emptiness, as though part of his soul is missing. He used his fantasies and longings and turned them into a best selling book that became a hit movie. He thought the writing would have purged his restlessness, but it hasn't, and he's stuck for an idea for another book. He leaves London to spend time at High House.
The rest of the cast and their unfolding relationships, as well as the intriguing secret Matt tries to dig out, I will leave for you to discover. If you like to get deep into characters and witness their intricate interactions, get THE SUMMER HOUSE and all will develop before you in a most satisfying manner.