Review – Summer In The City by Fiona Collins.

Prue is not someone you would notice willingly. She likes to keep herself to herself and fade into the background. If it were not for the birthmark on her left cheek, she might actually succeed at becoming invisible.

She spends all of her time with her blind father, Vince. Together, they sit in silence and ignore the vibrant city just on their doorstep. Life is as good as what’s on TV. That is, until something forces them both to go outside and see what they have been missing. For Vince, that means discovering how to see the world without his sight. For Prue, that means finding the courage to finally love and be loved in return.

A story about family, friendship and facing your fears head on, this is a heart-warming story that will stay with you long after you have finished the last page.

Review

Looking at the title Summer In The City you would be forgiven for thinking this is a tale about parties, days out in the park with friends and a bottle of wine or two. You would be partly right, there are days out, but the story that winds around them, is an emotional tale about discovery, healing and living a life, once lost, to its very best.

Author Fiona Wells gives us characters that take a journey from being virtual hermits, who turn into butterflies, emerging from their chrysalises, hopefully the light. As readers we want the characters we are reading about to change and develop as the narrative winds through a series of events that shape them and our view of their story. In Summer and The City, Fiona Collins not only does this, she manages to make their story not only feel tangible, but she imbues them and their lives with emotions we call all identify with, especially now!

In a year when we have been locked in our homes, our lives often reduced to what was on the TV, each of us can with painful clarity, identify with how a life can be reduced in this way. Our connection with both feeling intimate and personal. Yet she has not made this story about recent events, so for those of us that don’t want to read about our shared experiences, but need a kind of cathartic release of emotion, Summer In the City provides that outlet. Framed in a beautiful story about moving forward, facing your anxieties, your terror of the world outside your home and doing it with characters who are warm and ever so easy to love.

Both Prue and her father Vince have become locked away following a series of events that have seen them withdraw from the outside world. One moment in time, a balloon, seen in the distance, a tragic event, sets them off on a path, that just moments before, seemed both impossible and unwanted. I found myself, not just caught up in this story, but cheering them on, wanting baby steps, to blossom into strides, their faces raised towards the sun and not towards the shadows.

Fiona Wells gave me just what I needed and did so, because she understands human nature, that though we have been locked away, just like Vince and Prue, we need the warmth of the sun on our faces to flourish. As they are scared, so are we and its like we take the steps with them, slowly, carefully, withdrawing, then emerging, one step forwards, two back, then hopefully as we and they heal, out into the world with glad hearts and a yearning for adventure.

This is a feel good book, but don’t mistake it for light relief, it is deeper than that, but it is gentle and healing.

Many thanks to the author and publisher for this ARC in return for an honest review.

You can purchase this novel from Amazon

About The Author

Fiona Collins grew up in an Essex village and after stints in Hong Kong and London returned to the Essex countryside where she lives with her husband and three children. She has a degree in Film and Literature and has had many former careers including TV presenting in Hong Kong, traffic and weather presenter for BBC local radio and film/TV extra. You can find her on Twitter @FionaJaneBooks.

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