Frank Parker’s Summer Day begins with the end. In a glimpse of what’s to come, we meet young Henry, injured, terrified, and desperate, furiously trying to tie the knot on a hangman’s noose before authorities catch up to him. Compelled to read on, we jump back in time twelve hours and the story begins its tense and fearful careening from an accidental shooting to the moment when Henry struggles to end his pain.
The narrative jumps between points of view, putting the reader into Henry’s head and the heads of Henry’s family and neighbours. The author gives us an intimate view of life on a farm in rural England in 1947 through the search for Henry and Henry’s attempt to escape consequences he’s fabricated from a mistaken interpretation of reality.
Masterful Prose in Summer Day Paints a Poignant Picture of Farm Life
Through masterful prose, Parker engenders empathy for the characters — all of them. There’s no real villain in this story other than the intangible villain called “assumption.” There’s a saying that goes “when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” It could be the theme for this story. Yes, Henry’s interference causes a terrible accident, but everything he does after that stems from his assumption about the extent of the damage he’s caused. He believes the worst has happened, that terrible punishment is to come, and then reacts accordingly.
Frank Parker’s Summer Day paints a poignant picture of a simple country family dealing with a traumatic situation. A brilliant piece of literary fiction, Summer Day would make a worthy book club read.
About Author Frank Parker
Frank Parker grew up on the border between England and Wales, the setting for Summer Day. Later, he pursued a career as an Engineer which took him to various other parts of the UK as well as South Africa. Since retirement, he has lived in the Midlands of Ireland with his wife, to whom he has been married since 1963, where he divides his time between writing and their garden.
His most recent publication is a non-fiction book about the fraught relationship between Ireland and England that culminated in the Great Famine of 1845-52. A Purgatory of Misery: How Victorian Liberals Turned a Crisis into a Disaster is available in digital and print editions.
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