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Summer Reads

Summer Reads

Since the school year is coming to an end, I thought it would be a great idea to put together a list of the best books to include in your summer reading collection.

The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley follows the narrator, Leo, now a weathered, older man, recalling an adventurous summer of his childhood where he vacationed with a school friend at  Brandham Hall. The story follows as Leo unknowingly becomes a messenger between the engaged Marian, an upper-class woman, and Ted, a lower-class farmer. What follows is a rigid affair between the two characters as the summer grows increasingly hotter in the eyes of a naive schoolboy, culminating in a climactic and depressing end, as Leo is prematurely shown the danger and deceit of the adult world. In all, The Go-Between is a book about the inevitable loss of innocence, memory, and nostalgia of youth surrounded by atmospheric descriptions of summer and the sweltering temperatures. 

L.P Hartley’s descriptions of summer and the sun captivated me in a way of made me feel like I was right beside Leo watching the strange series of events unfold. Leo’s narration of the affair provides an innocent view of the following unforeseen events. The Go-Between is a magical and disturbing book for those interested in the classics of romance and deceit and those who want to make a compulsory read for the summer. 

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante begins set in the present day where one of the main characters, Elena receives a call from the son of her old friend, Lila, prompting her to write about her childhood, set in the 1950s. My Brilliant Friend follows the story of the two friends’ childhood and relationship, growing up in a poor small neighborhood in Naples, Italy. Lila is intelligent and determined but is held back by her self-centered tendencies, on the other hand, Elena is often left behind, jealous of Lila’s seemingly endless achievements. Surrounded by the changing political conditions of their city and county, Ferrante paints a beautiful tale exploring the pressures of the patriarchal system, class dynamics, and the complexities of female friendships.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner is a memoir exploring growing up Asian-American, mother and daughter relationships, and identity. Michelle Had a rocky relationship with her mother as she grew to be a rebellious teenager with high expectations and the troubles of childhood. Although they have a tense relationship, she and her mother bond over making traditional Korean foods in short moments. As Michelle grows and attends college on the East Coast her Koreanness becomes something more of a distant memory. In her journey of accomplishing her dreams, Michelle is shocked by the revelation of her mother’s illness and is forced to reminisce on her identity, culture, and family. 

Michelle Zauner perfectly captivates the feelings of grief, loss of racial identity, and familial relation in a raw and brutal memoir. Overall, showing the power of food and its connections to us and our relationships.


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