Sunday, September 12, 2021

When the Summer Was Ours by Roxanne Veletzos

Hungary, 1943: As war encroaches on the country’s borders, willful young Eva César arrives in the idyllic town of Sopron to spend her last summer as a single woman on her aristocratic family’s estate. Longing for freedom from her domineering father, she counts the days to her upcoming nuptials to a kind and dedicated Red Cross doctor whom she greatly admires.

But Eva’s life changes when she meets Aleandro, a charming and passionate Romani fiddler and artist. With time and profound class differences against them, Eva and Aleandro still fall deeply in love—only to be separated by a brutal act of hatred.

As each are swept into the tides of war, they try to forget their romance. Yet, the haunting memory of that summer will reshape their destinies and lead to decisions which are felt through generations.

From the horrors of the Second World War to the tensions of the 1956 Hungarian uprising and beyond, When the Summer Was Ours is a sweeping story about the toll of secrets, the blurred lines between sacrifice and obsession, and the endurance of the human spirit.

Kindle, 384 pages,
Published August 24, 2021 
by Washington Square Press
3/5 stars

This is my first time reading Roxanne Veletzos after hearing glowing reviews of her debut, The Girl They Left Behind.  I was excited to discover a new author.

Beginning in 1942 Budapest was a nice switch for me, in terms of WW2 books.  While I appreciated this setting and how the war affected its citizens and even the historical events afterwards, slowly this book fell a little flat for me.

I was craving something new in terms of storyline.  This story was interesting enough but I struggled to connect with the characters and I kinda felt like I've read this story before in it being predictable.

When the Summer Was Ours is a heart aching story that showed resilience and determination.  It released on August 24th.

My thanks to Atria Books for a digital arc (via Netgalley) in exchange for a honest review.

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