THE SUMMER FLETCHER GREEL LOVED ME

Suzanne Kingsbury, Author . Scribner $24 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7432-2303-4

Secrets as oppressive as Mississippi heat weigh down Kingsbury's debut novel. At the very beginning, 16-year-old Haley Ellyson of Houser Banks, Miss., lets her skeletons out of the closet, revealing that she helped bury a black man in the woods behind her house and that she is having a clandestine affair with her father's best friend, Bo Dickens. Though the secrets are intriguing, the burial is alluded to so rarely that it seems almost a figment of Haley's imagination, and her affair with Bo is so heated and pitiful it becomes grotesque. The saving grace is Kingsbury's handling of Haley's relationship with her first real love, Fletcher Greel, son of the town judge. Home for the summer of 1987 after graduating from a Connecticut prep school, Fletcher is the opposite of the rough and aggressive Bo. Kingsbury adds depth to the characters of Haley and Fletcher by alternating chapters between them and by going beyond standard teen lust to explore more unexpected, conflicting feelings. The young lovers spend the summer with their best friends, Riley White and his blues-singing black girlfriend, Crystal, who are increasingly harassed by the town's rednecks. As the tension mounts, the lives of both pairs of star-crossed lovers are put in jeopardy. Kingsbury's pacing is uneven, but her lush, evocative descriptions—of river swimming, night driving, sweaty juke joints and cool country stores—and her ability to delve into the hearts and minds of her characters carry her over the few bumpy spots in the plot. (Mar. 19)

Reviewed on: 02/04/2002
Release date: 02/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-7432-2304-1
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-7432-3813-7
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X