Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Title: The Summer that Melted Everything
Author: Tiffany McDaniel
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Date of Publication: July 26th, 2016
To me this is a totally unique story, one that relates the events of 1984 from the point of view of Fielding Bliss who as a teenager at the time. It starts by reminding readers of key inventions and events of the time then moves on to events in the story. Fielding’s father, Autopsy Bliss, is the local prosecutor and he is also the one who published a letter inviting the devil to their home town of Breathed, Ohio. It was just after the letter that thirteen year old Sal arrived in the town.
The unbearable heatwave, the manipulative antics of community leaders and the secret, depraved antics of some of the citizens all have important roles to play in the story which includes physical abuse, danger and many things done in the name of religion that are anything but religious in their nature.It is a harrowing story of how communities attitudes and behaviour can be influenced by mass hysteria or religious fervour permitting otherwise unacceptable actions to be carried out with their consent. It is a moving, emotive story and seems so pertinent to some current attitudes and occurrences being reported in the news ….
There are so many different issues portrayed in this superbly crafted novel, including racism, homophobia, suicide, child abuse, murder, religion, small town mobs, hysteria and even the fear of AIDS. This is no sweet read, it is a classic, a moving story of a family and the community in which they live, a story that will live on in the memory of readers. It is a dark, emotional portrayal of life where even those with the best of intentions can be misguided by mass hysteria into carrying out acts they would normally never dream of doing.
Many thanks to the author for inviting me to read an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review and for agreeing to be interviewed on this blog. You can read her interview here!
Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.
Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.
When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.
This book, after being released, will be available from a variety of sources including