The Summer Country by Lauren Willig

“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.”

“A sweeping Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.


Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Pink Carnation series and several stand alone works of historical fiction, including The Ashford AffairThat SummerThe Other DaughterThe English Wife, and the collaborative novels, The Forgotten Room and The Glass Ocean. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association’s annual list of the best genre fiction. After graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a PhD in History at Harvard before leaving academia to acquire a JD at Harvard Law while authoring her “Pink Carnation” series of Napoleonic-set novels. She lives in New York City, where she now writes full time.

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

Born and raised in southern Louisiana, home of sugar cane plantations and Bayou Rum, the “rustling of the canes” brought back vivid memories of visits to my grandparents. The setting of Summer Country is 1800 colonial Barbados: an eastern Caribbean island. In the opening chapters the reader is transported from the gray skies of Bristol, England-its cobbles, comforts & lifestyle of wealthy English shipping merchants- by a ride in a barouche with brass trappings- to Barbados with the sun pounding down & the rhythm of horses’ hooves. The reader blinks in the bright sunlight, senses the scorching heat, and is blinded by the white roads winding by pastel houses flanked by the bright scarlet leaves of the trees. Lauren Willig’s vivid descriptions of the plantation countryside leave you wishing for more than a parasol with fringes for relief and protection! The generations represented in this saga of plantation owners, slaves, their offspring, and secrets, keep the reader rolling past acres and acres of sugar cane fields, hoping to find the next clue to the connection between the owners of Beckles Plantation & Emily Dawson’s recently inherited, Peverills. You’ll want a cool rum beverage and a fan blowing in your face as the heat of this novel causes that trickle of sweat down your back as you race to find out the family secrets in a novel that was ten years in the making.

Lauren Willig’s detailed descriptions and thoroughly researched topics of slavery, sugar islands, medical practices, and the nineteenth-century race relations make this a five star read for the Grateful Reader.

cutting sugar cane Had to give a nod to Bayou Rum, where our Louisiana sugar cane crop ends up!

2 thoughts on “The Summer Country by Lauren Willig

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s