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The Book of Summers

Available from all good book shops

'A delicate, atmospheric, regretful tale but full of redemption too. I absolutely loved it.'

Richard Madeley, Richard and Judy Summer Book Club

'A lovely story of a mother's love and shattered dreams.'

Judy Finnigan, Richard and Judy Summer Book Club

'A stunning debut novel.'

The Sun

'An evocative, lush debut.'

Sunday Express

'An addictive read and an amazing debut.'


'Emylia Hall's enchantingly evocative debut glimmers with the magic of hot days, cool ponds, delicious meals and lost love.'

Marie Claire

'Fantastically evocative and sun-drenched with a twist... guaranteed a place on our summer holiday reading list.'

Stylist Magazine

'Heartfelt and evocative.'


'A compelling coming-of-age story with a superb twist.'

Easy Living

'Evocative and beautiful, it'll make you think of summers past.'

LOOK Magazine

'This beautiful debut is one that will stay with you for months... the attention to detail is stunning.'

Essentials Magazine

'Fab debut.'


'Beautifully nuanced... an enjoyable and confident debut.'

The Spectator

'The prose is lovely and I can imagine many readers falling into this book.'

The Big Issue

'A very well written, plotted and imagined return to a divided childhood and adolescence.'

The Daily Mirror

'Deceptively gentle... Writing with a sure touch Hall evokes Beth's flowering into a teenager, then with dramatic timing, unleashes the lie that Beth, like the reader, seems unlikely to recover from.'

The Daily Mail

'A charming debut novel.'

Woman's Own

'Lovely and haunting... Beth's bittersweet story will entrance readers.'

Publishers Weekly

'In her thoroughly enchanting debut, Hall casts a spell with this coming-of-age tale that feels, as Erzsi says, "like magic caught and held".'


'A poignant tale of a daughter strung between two parents and of the kind of silence and secrets that destroy families.'

Kirkus Reviews

'In every page of this heartbreaking novel is a strong sense of place and humanity. Readers will really appreciate the solid, artistic, beautifully descriptive quality of Emylia Hall's writing.'

Book Reporter

'A beautifully written debut novel capturing the light and shadow of memory and shared lives.'

Library Journal

'With writing that is poignant and filled with emotion, this story will stay in the heart for a long time. A definite keeper.'

Romantic Times

'Bold, joyful, carefree… vivid and beguiling.'

Sacramento Book Review

‘Newcomer Emylia Hall weaves a touch of magic in The Book of Summers. A lovely coming-of-age story with a sting in its tale.’

Toni Whitmont, Booktopia

‘A wonderful new voice with a powerful and expertly crafted debut. Heart-wrenching and heartwarming in equal measure.’

Bidisha, critic, broadcaster and writer

‘So tender and lovely… This is a novel I will keep on my bookshelf forever.’

Rebecca Rasmussen, author of The Bird Sisters

'Elegantly written and intensely intimate... a moving, poetic debut.'

Marisa de los Santos, author of Love Walked In

‘Exquisitely written, with a plot that is both uplifting and heartbreaking, and a sense of place that has the potential to do for Hungary what author Peter Mayle did for Provence.’

Suzanne Savill, Bristol Evening Post


Beth Lowe has been sent a parcel.

Inside is a letter informing her that her long-estranged mother has died, and a scrapbook Beth has never seen before. Entitled The Book of Summers, it’s stuffed with photographs and mementos compiled by her mother to record the seven glorious childhood summers Beth spent in rural Hungary.

It was a time when she trod the tightrope between separated parents and two very different countries; her bewitching but imperfect Hungarian mother and her gentle, reticent English father; the dazzling house of a Hungarian artist and an empty-feeling cottage in deepest Devon. And it was a time that came to the most brutal of ends the year Beth turned sixteen.

Since then, Beth hasn’t allowed herself to think about those years of her childhood. But the arrival of The Book of Summers brings the past tumbling back into the present; as vivid, painful and vital as ever.

  • Published in the UK, Australia & New Zealand in March 2012
  • Published in the US & Canada in June 2012
  • Also available translated into Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese in summer 2012, and German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian and Hungarian in 2013