This would make a wonderful book club book for groups that like to take on tough and morally subjective topics.
There is not really one major character per say in The Last Days of Summer. Although certainly out leads are a brother who just got out of jail, a conflicted sister over her familial obligation and said sisters two daughters.
Of all the things that stick out in Vanessa Ronan's prose; it's certainly that the youngest daughter is the person we all wish we could be as adults. Innocent, trusting, and compassionate. I love her line:
"Everyone should have a friend"
I want to say that after reading this book I believe it's true that everyone should have a friend. That all human beings are valuable in their own way; but it's hard to really believe that.
There are so many themes to discuss here from: faith, prayer, forgiveness, innocence and home.
- Do you have the right to return home after being in prison?
- Do you deserve a friend no matter what?
- Are there ever ways to gain forgiveness for heinous acts?
Ultimately for me this book is about what we as humans deserve. Do we all deserve to be happy? Do we deserve to ever have comforts if we've done certain things? And does anyone ever deserve to be treated in a different way?
Fair warning there are awful crimes described and that play out in this book. If you are squeamish or avoid some of the nasty things in our world then this book is not for you.
But if you believe we can learn from all acts, responses and thoughts of a child then I believe you will walk away from The Last Days of Summer with lots to think about and discuss with others if you choose to.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.