Summerset, by Karen Mason
ISBN: 9781847995445, Publisher: Lulu Inc.
Overall, I am immeasurably impressed with Summerset, by Karen Mason. Summerset was Karen Mason’s first title, with the novel, Mad About the Boy and the novella, Mrs. Osbourne Regrets following it. Karen Mason resides in South London.
Shortly after World War II, Lou O’Connell moves to the small Sussex village of Summerset with her father, Mitch, attempting to begin a new life and start again. As the young daughter of the local publican, Lou finds herself blossoming into the young woman she is destined to become, admired and pursued by all the young men of Summerset. Her heart, however, belongs only to Andrew McDonald, the dedicated husband to Briggy Sheridan. The Sheridan’s, hated and feared equally among the town, not only own the pub, but most of Summerset, as well. Kept secret from everyone around them, Lou and Andrew’s passion and forbidden love spans decades. As Lou becomes a famous author, marries, and bears children of her own, Andrew stays in a loveless marriage out of duty. But as a shocking discovery into Lou’s true heritage, and the secret they deemed hidden surfaces, Lou becomes determined to seek revenge on all the wrongs and seeks to claim what is rightfully hers. Summerset is a tale of forbidden love and a quest for revenge, against a backdrop of social change.
The book was littered with grammatical errors in the way of commas and misspellings, to which the author is aware, and is nothing that a good editor can’t fix. I’m not real keen on the cover, and I would have liked to see a brief author biography on the back cover, too.
Karen Mason’s writing style is very unique. I found it to be very succinct and to the point, without the unnecessary indemnities, and very eloquently translated in this story. She has a very dry, witty, and contagious sense of humor, which popped up at appropriate intervals throughout the book. It had great character development and setting description, along with a brilliant understanding for the social background of time in which it was written. I didn’t find any dead spots, nor did I lose interest anywhere in the story. I find I must point out a line in this book, to which I found was so overwhelmingly powerful at the end of the story, (I won’t explain, you’ll get it when you read it)- “You can do it. You come from a long line of actors.” Bravo!
Beginning in October of 1946, and ending in December of 2006, this third person point-of-view reads like a memoir with a phenomenal plot. Packed with the innocence of youth, the elation of first love, bitterness of heartbreak, the power but not happiness money brings, family secrets, and the glory of finally getting what you want- Summerset, by Karen Mason, is a powerful and engaging story, guaranteed to trap your attention and your heart.
Author and Reviewer