Wednesday 24 May 2023

πŸ“– Book Review ~ The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop


Bantam Press
25 May

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book

Rachel has been in love with Alistair since she was seventeen. Even though she hasn't seen him for sixteen years and she's now married to someone else. Even though she was a teenager when they met. Even though he is twenty years older than her. She's found it impossible to forget their summer together on a remote, sun-trapped Greek island. Until now.

When Rachel unexpectedly reconnects with a girl that she knew back then, she is forced to re-examine her memories of that golden summer and confront the truth about her relationship with Alistair and about her time working for an enigmatic and wealthy man on the island. And when Alistair returns, the pull of the past could prove impossible to resist...

πŸ“– My Review..

Rachel fell in love with Alistair when she was seventeen and on the adventure of her life. Travelling with her friend Caroline they arrive at a small Greek island where Rachel, in particular, is soon captivated by island life. Rachel decides to stay on the island, finding work and friendship but always in thrall to the much older Alistair and whatever he wants Rachel does unquestioningly even when it means she is drawn into a world she is neither prepared for nor understands.

I was quickly immersed in Rachel's story and felt more than once that I just wanted her to see sense and go home but of course, we've all been a naive seventeen, in love for the first time and unwilling to listen to anyone's advice. The story moves between two time frames so we meet, in the present day, a more mature Rachel, her dissatisfaction all too obvious, and her character rather jaded from the bright and beautiful seventeen year old who was in love with life on a sparkling Greek island. Gradually over the space of the story we learn that all was not idyllic on the island hideaway.

The Girls of Summer is a thought provoking #MeToo read which I devoured in the space of a couple of sittings as I couldn't book the book down. It would be a really good immersive summer read, especially if you are heading to the Greek islands for some sunshine. The Girls of Summer takes the idea of a classic holiday romance and turns it into something much darker and deeper, highlighting the nature of a coercive relationship and the ambiguity of consent and control. 

About the Author

Katie Bishop is a writer and journalist based in Birmingham, UK. She grew up in the Midlands before moving to Oxford to work in publishing in her early twenties. Whilst working as an assistant editor she started writing articles in her spare time, going on to be published in the New York Times, Guardian, Independent and Vogue.

Katie started writing The Girls of Summer during the first UK COVID lockdown, after becoming increasingly interested in stories emerging from the #MeToo movement. The novel is inspired by her own experiences of backpacking, and by her interest in how personal narratives can be reshaped and understood in light of cultural and social changes.

In 2020, Katie moved back to the Midlands, and now lives in Birmingham with her partner. She is a full-time writer.

Twitter @WhatKatieBWrote #GirlsofSummer


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