I didn’t know how much I needed to read this book until I read it to the end, tears streaming down my face. Due to my own personal history this book probably touches me more than it might others, but I doubt anyone will be able to get through it without crying at least once.
The Myth of Perpetual Summer is the story of Tallulah and her family, set in two periods: the early-mid 1960’s and the early 1970’s. They own a pretty rundown plantation on the outskirts of a small town in Mississippi, and are often the brunt of town gossip. Thanks (or no thanks) to her unconventional parents Tallulah has to grow up fast, and constantly feels responsible for her family. When a tragic event happens the rift that grows in the family seems both inevitable but heartbreaking all at the same time, and sets Tallulah off on a journey of isolation but also of revelation. I don’t want to say more because I think spoiling this beautiful novel would be an injustice to those who haven’t read it.
The Myth of Perpetual Summer is a story of coming of age amidst chaos, of tragedy, but also of mental illness and what people will do to preserve the reputation and honor of a family. I recognized a lot of the signs that Susan Crandall points to in her narrative and feel that The Myth of Perpetual Summer is a great portrayal of how important mental health awareness is. While the story takes place quite a few decades ago the narrative is very much relevant today still.
I personally loved this book. It’s beautifully written and the characters are all wonderfully flawed and human. I loved Tallulah so much, she reminds me a lot of myself. I will now be checking out more of Susan Crandall works!
The Myth of Perpetual Summer will be published by Gallery Books on June 19th. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy!