Title: White Sands of Summer
Author: J.H. Fletcher
Published: May 20th 2019
Publisher: Mira – AU
Genres: Fiction, Historical
Rating: 3.5 stars
Will wealth and love be theirs for the taking or will they run like sand through their fingers?
No-one thought barmaid Shannon Harcourt stood a chance with Hal Maitland, heir to the vast Maitland fortune. Yet their unlikely relationship flourishes until, one summer’s day on the white sands of Charles Green Island, they realise their true feelings for each other – feelings that must motivate them to survive the coming war.
Forty years on, Shannon, a successful businesswoman and younger sister Jess, an accomplished chef, have left their days of poverty far behind. Shannon now has her sights set on purchasing the island where her young love began.
But when reclusive businessman, Dermot Black, becomes acquainted with Jess and shows interest in Charles Green, Shannon is wary of his motives. What could Black possibly want with the island, and why is he so interested in the Harcourt sisters?
A story of love and competing ambitions, and a reminder to never underestimate the determination of a woman.
From the prize winning author of over nineteen novels, which have been published both in Australia and aboard, comes J.H. Fletcher’s White Sands of Summer. A spectacular saga, set across of time period of over forty years, this brand new novel from J.H. Fletcher is a tale of family bonds, aspiration, determination, ambition, wealth and love. White Sands of Summer represents yet another enjoyable read from this author.
Shannon Harcourt is J.H. Fletcher’s leading protagonist. Shannon comes from humble beginnings, but when she meets Hal Maitland, a man from a class above her, she falls in love. Although Shannon and Hal come from vastly different backgrounds, they cannot deny their love for one another. However, when the war reaches Australia’s shores, they must do all they can to both protect the country they love and each other. Decades on, Shannon has reached incredible heights. She is a successful businesswoman, who has her sights set on acquiring her very own island, a place that holds treasured memories for this entrepreneur. With her sister Jess backing her plans to purchase the island, it seems like a done deal. However, the threat of a businessman with suspect motives puts Shannon’s grand plan to the ultimate test. White Sands of Summer is about never giving up on your wildest dreams, in the face of defeat.
White Sands of Summer has such an inviting summer feel cover, which was just perfect for our current dreary winter conditions! I wanted to delve right into the pages of this escapist style read. The stunning coastal backdrop featured on the front cover of White Sands of Summer is a strong symbol of the events in the novel. The lead of this new tale from J.H. Fletcher wishes to purchase her very own island, for valid reasons. It is the stuff dreams are made out of, to be in a position to obtain your own idyllic island! I was definitely intrigued by the start of J.H. Fletcher’s new novel.
I have enjoyed many novels from J.H. Fletcher, since I was first introduced to his work via his book Dust of the Land. I still have many more books in his backlist to explore, so it was a pleasure to be afforded with an opportunity to read Fletcher’s brand new release. I do have a weakness for rich Australian sagas, and there is no question that White Sands of Summer is a strong presentation of a grand Australian saga. This novel spans a distance of over forty years. It covers everything from childhood, sisterhood, first careers, the impact of war, love, relationships, betrayal, big business, international transactions and construction. In reeling off all these themes, it becomes clear that this is a full and involving novel. The wealth of experience and the breadth of affairs the characters in this novel encounter are interesting to follow.
J.H. Fletcher devotes plenty of time in the early stages of his novel to setting the scene. I was able to grasp the character of Shannon, as well as her sister Jess very well, which is thanks to Fletcher’s writing. There are a good handful of side characters that come into the fold as the story progresses, from family members, offspring, business acquaintances, friends and foes. A few of these side characters were a little hard to develop a firm hand on at times, but I still managed to enjoy the story. I especially appreciated the well drawn sequences that outlined Shannon’s involvement in the war, along with Jess’s culinary adventures. My eyes were also opened to the world of business, acquisition, property development, construction practices and international business connection – all from the perspective of a few decades ago. It amazed me how much Shannon managed to achieve as a woman at this time in the business world.
All in all, White Sands of Summer proved to be an engaging read. I’m a fan of J.H Fletcher’s work, and although it isn’t my favourite novel from his long list of novels, it still provided me with a full day of reading entertainment. Turn to this one if you appreciate sprawling Australian family based sagas.
White Sands of Summer by J.H. Fletcher was published on 20th May 2019 by Mira – AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
*I wish to thank Mira – AU for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.