Sunday, July 08, 2012
The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn
Clarissa Granville is almost 17 years old when the story begins. She has just spent an idyllic summer at her family's country estate, Deyning Park, where she meets and falls in love with Tom Cuthbert, son of the family's housekeeper. But then the Great War (World War I) begins, and everything changes. Clarissa's 3 brothers (Henry, William, and George), Tom and many of their friends all go off to war. Many don't return or else are so physically or emotionally damaged that life is never the same afterwards. I really wanted to like this book, and I did like a lot of it. But it is narrated by Clarissa, and I thought she was such a ninny! I know that I'm seeing an early 20th century woman through the eyes of the 21st century, but she could be so exasperating at times. She claimed to have this all-consuming passion for Tom, but when it came right down to it, she let the opinions of others (especially her mother) control her. I kept thinking of the rather crude expression, "sh*t or get off the pot." Anyway, I debated how many stars to give this, and finally settled on 3 out of 5. It is my 7th book for the World War I Reading Challenge.