Saturday Shorts: The Summer People by Kelly Links

Over Easter, I happened to see a tweet by Cannongate books offering up a free short story by Kelly Link. Link isn’t an author I’d heard of but I love short stories as I think I’ve mentioned before and – added bonus – this was free, so a good chance to discover new author….if I enjoyed the book that is. Which I did, so yay!

Out in the holler, Fran isn’t well. Her daddy has up and left and she is full of fever. When her school friend Ophelia offers to help, she sends her for medicine – but not to the chemist. Instead she sends Ophelia to the house of the Summer People, along with a set of strange instructions on how to behave whilst she’s there. Ophelia does as she is asked and becomes as fascinated by the house and the people inside it as Fran is bound to it because of her family tree.

The Summer People have been around a long time it seems. Just what they are isn’t clear and I never did completely get my head around it, which is I think, part of the point of the story – that and whether we can ever truly escape our roots. Or maybe it’s that we can’t see the beauty of where we live and the lives we lead until we step away from them. And maybe I need to read the story again so I can get everything out of it because for something of so few pages, there were a lot of layers.

I would be happy to return to be honest, and think I will end up getting the whole book this was taken from (called Get in Trouble) because not only did it draw me in with it’s characters, I loved the language and the imagery . I could picture Fran’s home in my mind and have wonderful visions in my head of the gifts the Summer People left her. I only hope the rest of the stories are as good and would say if you can get yourselves a copy do.

Emma

Note: As mentioned at the beginning I received a copy of this from the publisher. There was no requirement to review it but I decided to anyway. All thoughts, feelings, and opinions are my own. 

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