Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Random Things Tour - Summer of Reckoning

Getting ready for spring and summer thrillers?  Thanks to Random Things Tours, you may have just discovered a new book for your TBR.  Read on to learn all about Summer of Reckoning by Marion Brunet.  Thanks to Bitter Lemon Press and Anne Cater for providing me a copy so I can share my thoughts.

TITLE: Summer of Reckoning
AUTHOR: Marion Brunet
PUBLISHER: Bitter Lemon Press
PUBLISHING DATE: March 12, 2020


The story takes place in the suffocating atmosphere of a social housing estate in the south of France. Sixteen-year-old Céline and her sister Jo, fifteen, dream of escaping to somewhere far from their daily routine, far from their surly, alcoholic father and uncaring mother, both struggling to make ends meet. That summer Celine falls pregnant, devastating news that reopens deep family wounds. Those of the mother Severine whose adolescence was destroyed by her early pregnancy and subsequent marriage with Manuel. Those of Manuel, grandson of Spanish immigrants, who takes refuge in alcoholism to escape the open disdain of his in-laws. Faced with Celine’s refusal to name the father, Manuel needs a guilty party and Saïd, a childhood friend of the girls and conveniently Arab, seems to fit the role perfectly. In the suffocating heat of summer Manuel embarks on a drunken mission of revenge. A dark and upsetting account of an ailing society, filled with silent and murderous rage. 

MY THOUGHTS:  Summer of Reckoning takes place in the South of France and it's obvious that the author is pretty familiar with the location.  She easily describes the lush settings as well as the diverse inhabitants of the area.  The book centers around two sisters, Celine, 16 and Jo, 15, as well as their parents, Manuel and Severine.  Early on we learn that this is not the happiest of families and the girls dream of being anywhere but home.  Usually their summers are spent escaping their parents and the real world but this summer is different because Celine is pregnant.

Celine refuses to divulge the father of her unborn baby and Manuel makes it his personal mission to find out.  What follows is a story that shows years of unhappiness, bouts of rebellion, class and race issues and revenge.  Summer of Reckoning is not an easy read but one that packs a punch.  I would go as far as say that is a thriller, but one that takes on some heavy issues.  I personally didn't find any of the characters likable but Jo came the closest.  Unlike her sister, she tends to use her brains where Celine tries to forge her path using manipulation and her sexuality. 

I found Summer of Reckoning to have a slow-burning plot.  If you're looking for a quick action-packed read, then you might be disappointed.  However, if you want a more character-driven psychological tale, then look no further.

ANIMAL TRIGGER WARNING: I have to share that there is one scene in the book I found particularly disturbing.  It involved drowning kittens in a bathtub.  This scene did upset me and I admit I kind of skimmed on and read around it.  Just a warning as I know a lot of my followers aren't comfortable with animal abuse either.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marion Brunet, born in 1976 in the Vaucluse, is a well known Young Adult author in France. Her YA novels have received over 30 prizes, including the 2017 UNICEF Prize for Youth Literature. Summer of Reckoning is her first novel written for adults and her first work to be translated into English.


  1. Thanks for the blog tour support xx

  2. I was interested until you mentioned the kittens🙁 But I don't think this is for me.

  3. What a premise! Sounds like this would be iffy for me. Thanks for the heads up!! :)