'Incredibly perceptive style... The novel’s denouement is a compelling whodunit, with twists and turns to grip until the very end, making Summer of '76 a great book for summer holiday reading.'—We Love This BookRead an extract
In this intense novel of secrets and simmering passions the acclaimed author of Glasshopper and Hurry Up and Wait takes us back to the legendary heatwave of 1976.
It’s the start of one of the hottest summers on record with soaring temperatures and weeks without rain; the summer of Abba, T-Rex, David Bowie and Demis Roussos; of Martinis, cheesecake and chicken chasseur; of the Montreal Olympics and the Notting Hill riots – the summer Big Ben stopped dead.
Luke Wolff is about to turn eighteen and is all set to enjoy his last few months at home on the Isle of Wight before leaving for college. Life is looking good; his job at a holiday camp promises new friendships, even the possibility of romance, and his parents are too preoccupied with their own problems to worry much about their son’s growing independence.
But with windows and doors constantly open and life increasingly lived outside, secrets become hard to hide. As Luke listens in, his parents’ seemingly ordered existence comes unstuck. Soon the community is gripped by scandal, and everything Luke thought he knew about friendship and family is turned on its head.
Winner of the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition, Isabel Ashdown once again unravels the complexity of her characters’ lives – and reveals what really lies beneath the surface.