I am kicking the Summer Reading Giveaway with a book that says summer to me but one that I don't think has gotten as much recognition as I think it should. I am featuring Saundra Mitchell’s Shadowed Summer. Saundra has been wonderful and sent me a signed book plate for the book, and some additional swag including a Shadowed Summer bookmark, sticker, and a Vespertine book card.
Description from GoodReads:
Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.
Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?
I actually read Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell back in December. It had come to me highly recommended, and someone joked that it should be read in the middle of the winter. So I did read it surrounded by 2 feet of snow outside. It is one of those books that warms you up. When I jumped into the first chapter of the book, I could feel the heat and humidity of the Louisiana summer rising off the page.
But to be fair, this is truly a summer book. Mitchell's Shadowed Summer is a southern gothic ghost story. From the first pages, Mitchell drew me into her world and kept me reading. I could almost sense myself walking around this small Louisanna town in the summer with the heat and humidity rising from the ground, and the laziness of the days. Her characters - Richly developed, and come alive on the pages. There is friendship, secrets, and more. Mitchell's background as a screenwriter lends itself to crisp writing without excessive words and pacing that never drags. If anything, I wanted to spend more time in her world and was sad to see the story end even though the length was appropriate. And even though part of me thought I knew how the book was going to end, I was still was a little surprised.
I would highly recommend this to anyone, and I do. Mitchell has been added to my favorite author "watch list" and I can't wait for her next book Vespertine to be released in 2011.
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