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.