The Last Summer
An island full of secrets. An irresistible love story....
Publisher: Macmillan Australia
Publication date: 26th April 2022
Series: The Wild Isle #1
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher
My review of The Last Summer
I loved this book and I need the next one now!!
I never read the back cover blurb before I start a book, always preferring to go in blind. So I was thinking this was a dual time line, as some of Karen Swan's previous books, but I was delighted to find that The Last Summer is purely historical fiction and also the first in a new five book series.
Set on the remote island of Hirta in the St Kilda archipelago in the months leading up to the 1930 evacuation of the villagers to the mainland of Scotland. Swan uses real events to weave a fictitious tale of resilience.
Life is hard for the villagers on the island but it's the only life 18 year old Effie Gillies has known. Effie is wild and determined she has had to work as hard as the men to help support her ailing father.
Lord Sholto has lead a privileged life but when he and his father visit the island they do not show airs and graces as Effie acts as tour guide to the visitors. Sholto falls for Effie the minute he sees her and Effie dreams there may be a life for her off the island.
I loved all the descriptions of the wild beauty of the island, Effie's skill at cragging (abseiling) on the sheer cliffs and how the villagers lived in harmony like one large family. The continuous effort of getting a meal on the table as well as work to pay taxes to the landlord was extremely interesting.
Karen Swan has delivered the perfect forbidden love story with the two protagonists separated by powerful class boundaries that seemed insurmountable.
I was totally immersed in this story from beginning to end and I flew through the pages eager for Effie to find acceptance as her wild, free self.
The Last Summer is a love story that defies distance, standing and a dangerously jealous man.
⚠ Be warned, the story ends on a cliffhanger that will have you eager for the next installment.
My rating 5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
About the author
Karen Swan is the Sunday Times top three bestselling author of twenty-one books and her novels sell all over the world. She writes two books each year - one for the summer period and one for the Christmas season. Previous summer titles include The Spanish Promise, The Hidden Beach and The Secret Path and, for winter, The Christmas Secret, Together by Christmas and Midnight in the Snow.
Previously a fashion editor, she lives in Sussex with her husband, three children and two dogs.