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book cover of 

Long Hot Summer

Long Hot Summer

(2000)
A novel by

 
Barbara Anderson's sixth novel, Long Hot Summer, is as leisurely, and whimsical, as the story it tells. It's the summer of 1936; a small New Zealand community spins its life around the Bay, the beach and the passionate encounters between people--parents and children, husbands and wives, friends and lovers, Maoris and colonials--who live close enough to have to get to know one another. The Hopkins family is central to the book; two voices--Lorna and Ann, mother and daughter--tell the story of what happened when their neighbour, James Clements, decided to make an amateur film, Lust in the Dust, while his sister, Bella, falls in love with Tamati Ropata, unleashing the scandal of inter-racial love which haunts this book. The voices echo one another, letting the reader in on the different versions of events belonging to adult and child. "Everyone should have the company of a small child occasionally," Lorna muses. "They are good at wonder and their enthusiasm is at the ready." It's an endorsement that runs through the book, though the voices of the children are sometimes curiously adult, stilted. At the same time, the quiet discontents of an ordinary marriage run parallel with the discoveries of childhood, with film-making and scandal. "I used to be a nice woman, kind and pleasant, a dear girl once, I swear": Lorna's opening lines introduce the tension, at once sexual and ethical, that surrounds the Hopkins' marriage, the changes it will undergo as the result of this long, hot summer. Anderson's skill lies in weaving her different plots and perspectives together, driving her characters, and readers, towards a consideration of the "imponderables"--"empathy, sympathy, attraction"--that, by making it possible to appreciate someone, allows a love to blossom. Vicky Lebeau

 
Used availability for Barbara Anderson's Long Hot Summer


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

April 2000 : UK Hardback
Title: Long Hot Summer
Author(s): Barbara Anderson
ISBN: 0-224-06065-1 / 978-0-224-06065-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

May 2001 : UK Paperback
Title: Long Hot Summer
Author(s): Barbara Anderson
ISBN: 0-09-928374-3 / 978-0-09-928374-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

2000 : New Zealand Paperback
Title: Long hot summer
Author(s): Barbara Anderson
ISBN: 0-86473-371-2 / 978-0-86473-371-9 (New Zealand edition)
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


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