Synopsis: For years, the Cardew House has stood empty, inviting Lou in for an escape from reality. One summer, the Cardew siblings, Robert and Caitlin, move back to the house and it lights up with magic and mystery. Lou is caught peeping on one of their parties and is invited to become friends with the glamorous siblings.
SPOILER FREE REVIEW:
I have to start off by saying that I absolutely ADORED this book!! It was absolutely beautifully written and the setting was so magical and rich. The story was relaxed, but I enjoyed every second of it.
It takes place in the 1920’s, so it definitely draws inspiration from The Great Gatsby. There are quotes from it at the beginning of each section. That was one aspect of this book that I really enjoyed. I love the glitz and glam of that era, but I think this book does a good job showing the other side of the story. No one at these parties really knows each other that well and they are thrown to cover up other things, like mental health.
The main character, Lou, is 17 when the book begins. Her older sister is getting married and moving in with her husband, so Lou is kind of at a crossroads in her life. She was always part of a pair with her sister, but now she has to figure out who she is and what she enjoys on her own. This aspect of the book was very relatable to me! I have felt and still feel a lot of the things that she feels throughout this book.
The writing in this book was absolutely gorgeous. There were lines that just had my jaw actually drop. It really built up the atmosphere of this little coastal British town in summer. I wish I had written some down, but I was just too engrossed in the writing and the story.
I really enjoyed the relationships between Lou and Caitlin, as well as between Lou and Robert. Caitlin never really had a best friend, but her and Lou become fast friends. They spend most of the summer together and they help each other through a lot. Lou and Robert had some banter that I really loved. They are constantly making fun of each other, but in a way that shows that they care.
The only negative thing that I have to say about this book is that Robert is 23. Lou has turned 18 by the end of the book, but the age difference between them still felt like a little too much to me.
This book was in a historical era, but it didn’t really follow a historical event. I think that is what I prefer out of historical fiction. I’ve been reading a lot of historical fiction that takes place in wars or other turbulent times, so they’ve kind of left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Anyway, I highly recommend this book! It is absolutely one of my favorites of the year, and possibly of all time. It was a delightful read!