Tuesday, 6 September 2016

'Where the Summer Dwells'

Another review of a story in Lynda E. Rucker's latest collection, available from The Swan River Press. Perhaps this is a real-time review. Stranger things have happened.

'Where the Summer Dwells' occupies the fertile ground between the short stories of Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, and Ray Bradbury, sort of. It's not easy to classify, in part because it's so simple. Charlotte, who was born in the Southern US, goes back to her home town from Oregon with some new friends. She recalls her old friends, Vic and Cade, and how she lost touch with them, then briefly felt she had a chance of being reunited.

An overbearingly hot Georgia summer is wonderfully evoked, as are the subtle nuances of love, friendship, and nostalgia. It's a sad story, in which the supernatural element is elusive but nonetheless convincing. Who doesn't want to return to the perfect summer we knew when we were young? Who doesn't yearn for the timeless immediacy of youth and hope?

'So long, and all of them grown up and gone away.'

A very moving story.

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