THE LAST SUMMER by Elizabeth Gunn


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The female narrator, in her middle years, writes for absolution on the last summer of her childhood and the death of her beloved father which climaxed that summer. This is set, for the most part, at a summer resort in the south of France, where she spent her 13th summer with her parents. She meets a young man, becomes involved in an illicit love affair between her young man's sister and an Italian boy. So involved is she, that she fails, out of an innocent, childhood self-involvement, to extend the few last considerations to her moribound father that could have assuaged her guilt. Upon the death itself, there is further failure to understand, to become ""brutally connected"" with the fact of death. Miss Gunn writes not so well as, but certainly with the same kind of fragile headiness as, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. This is a very short, somewhat fragmented novel that might have proved more effective in short story form. Despite this defect, the author offers many poetic passages on loss of innocence, guilt, isolation and alienation. This should appeal to a female audience.

Publisher: Norton