One Summer

One Summer

(2006) Orion

‘One Summer is a real emotional roller-coaster of a read, and Billington expertly sustains the suspense.’ Daily Mail

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One Summer is unashamedly a tragic love story. Great passion is a theme I return to every decade or so. (For example, my earlier book, based on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Occasion of Sin.) Of course it is a theme recurring in all fiction over the centuries. In this case the man, K, is twenty four years older than his love object who is still a school girl – and a naïve school girl at that. I have, however, not just written about the love affair but about its consequences fourteen years on so that the story is told in two different time-scales. It is also told in two voices – the male and the female. Part of the book is set in Valparaiso, Chile, where I stayed with my daughter, Rose Gaete, and my Chilean son-in-law just as I started writing the novel. Chance experience always plays a big part in what goes into my novels, although my characters are virtually never drawn directly from life.

‘Writing with grace and unflinching intensity, Billington acknowledges the complexity of cause and effect in a novel that is as much about the sufferings of expiation as the joys of passion.’ Sunday Times

‘One Summer is a real emotional roller-coaster of a read, and Billington expertly sustains the suspense.’ Daily Mail

‘Reading One Summer is an intense, even a claustrophobic experience: there is no escape, no let up, no Shakespearian comic gravedigger to lighten the tension. Rather the progress of Claudia’s and K’s love – and the long term psychological damage it wreaks – is anatomised minutely and with an absolute-seeming veracity by Rachel Billington.’ Spectator