The Myth of Perpetual Summer
By: Susan Crandall
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 6/19/2018
My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC) From the national bestselling author of Whistling Past the Graveyard comes a moving coming-of-age tale set in the tumultuous sixties that harkens to both Ordinary Grace and The Secret Life of Bees. Tallulah James’s parents’ volatile relationship, erratic behavior, and hands-off approach to child rearing set tongues to wagging in their staid Mississippi town, complicating her already uncertain life. She takes the responsibility of shielding her family’s reputation and raising her younger twin siblings onto her youthful shoulders.
If not for the emotional constants of her older brother, Griff, and her old guard Southern grandmother, she would be lost. When betrayal and death arrive hand in hand, she takes to the road, headed to what turns out to be the not-so-promised land of Southern California. The dysfunction of her childhood still echoes throughout her scattered family, sending her brother on a disastrous path and drawing her home again. There she uncovers the secrets and lies that set her family on the road to destruction.
"In The Myth of Perpetual Summer, Susan Crandall introduces us to Tallulah James, a woman who fled her the tragedies of her Southern childhood only to be drawn back to save the brother she left behind. Crandall, long known as a master for her works such as Whistling Past the Graveyard, blends with virtuoso skill the themes of loss and redemption, love and hope, while answering the question we all ask ourselves: Can we indeed go home again? Fans of Joshilyn Jackson should run for this stunner of a book." (Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan's Tale)
“Beneath the boiling sun of small-town Mississippi, the remarkable life of Tallulah James unravels to expose profound family dysfunction, lies, and long-buried secrets. A coming-of-age story filled with heartbreak and hope that proves the only way into the future is to face the past.” (Beth Hoffman, New York Times and internationally best-selling author of Looking for Me)
"Beautifully written and deeply satisfying. A heartfelt story of love, loss, and the twists and turns a life can take. Susan Crandall once again delivers a character you’ll root for on a journey you won’t soon forget." (Wendy Wax, USA Today bestselling author of Best Beach Ever)
“The Myth of Perpetual Summer is a fully imagined coming-of-age novel both heartbreaking and inspiring. Tallulah James is as endearing as she is indelible, a worthy heroine to anchor this story of family dysfunction, social unrest, and a girl's journey to womanhood. Susan Crandall has done it again, and this stunning book is sure to attract fans of The Glass Castle as well as readers everywhere looking for a remarkable story of hope, perseverance, and the enduring power of family. (Karen White, New York Times Bestselling author of Dreams of Falling)
“The Myth of Perpetual Summer is a wonderfully crafted, poignant,and absorbing novel.” (Mary Ellen Taylor, author of The Union Street Bakery)
"A gorgeously-crafted story of a young women caught between the old South and new, her bohemian upbringing and the old guard, and finally between the lies that destroyed a family and the truth that will stitch them back together. The Perpetual Myth of Summer is the kind of luminous, immersive book that will haunt you days after you've finished reading." (Emily Carpenter, author of Burying the Honeysuckle Girls)
"Family secrets, town gossip, and a glass of sweet tea make for the most delicious of Southern tales! Susan Crandall takes us on another spell-binding ride to small-town Mississippi and straight into the heart of Talulah James who loves her family no matter how flawed or broken." (Susan Gregg Gilmore, author of Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen)
About the Author
Unlike so many writers, Susan Crandall did not emerge from the womb with a pen and paper in hand and a fully formed story in her mind. Instead, she was born with an incredible love for books. For much of her young life, even those exhausting years when her children were young and Susan worked in her previous profession (yes, the rumor is true, she was a dental hygienist) she was an avid reader, always fascinated with words. (Those of you who catch yourself reading the dictionary when you cracked it open to look up mesopelagic you just might have a writer hiding inside you, too.)
Then, her younger sister admitted that she’d been writing, secretly of course, as most writers initially do. That admission led to Susan editing her sister’s work (as the older sister, Susan was never short of opinions to share). Then Susan and her sister co-authored four unpublished novels. Her sister moved on after those four books, but Susan was totally addicted. She’d learned too much about the process of writing, the craft of storytelling and the world of the written word to give it up.
BACK ROADS was Susan Crandall’s first solo work, her first published work, and her first award winning novel, winning a RITA for Best First Book and two National Reader’s Choice Awards. WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD, her tenth published novel, was a Target Book Pick, an Indie Next pick, a Pulpwood Queens National Book Club pick, as well as recipient of the 2014 SIBA Award for Fiction.
THE FLYING CIRCUS, a novel set in the 1920’s about three misfits on the run from their pasts, a story of heartbreak and adventure, was released in hardcover in July 2015 to high acclaim. It is a Pulpwood Queens National Book Club pick as well as a 2015 SIBA Okra pick.
THE MYTH OF PERPETUAL SUMMER, the story of a girl in the 1960s trying to hold her dysfunctional family together, will be released in June 2018. A little bit coming-of-age, a little bit runaway, a good deal of emotion.
Susan grew up in a small Indiana town, married a guy from that town, and then moved to Chicago for a while. She is pleased to say that she has been back in her hometown for many years and plans to stay. She and her husband have two grown children, four little grands, and two dogs. Read More