Publication date: 26th July 2016 (TODAY!)
Page count: 320 pages
Genre: Adult fiction / Contemporary
Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.
Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.
When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.
Where do I begin? This book caught me off guard… I’m speechless!
I’m so glad the author, Tiffany McDaniel, got in touch and asked me to do a review of her debut novel, The Summer that Melted Everything! I’m truly honoured to have been given this opportunity. And if her debut novel is anything to go by, we can expect great things from Tiffany McDaniel in the future.
The writing is so beautiful it makes you want to keep on reading way past your bedtime. But the genius of it is, it’s not complicated or hard to understand at all. The writing is beautifully simple or simply beautiful, your choice.
The story is set in the summer of 1984, which for some magical coincidence is exactly when I was born! (Yes, I know I’m old. Don’t judge me!).
The characters were a set of imperfect humans, which made the story all the more relateable. They have their flaws, their small town background makes them think and behave a certain way, which most of us would be appalled if people said and acted the way these characters did in real life, but even if you completely disagree with what they do and how they think you can still get a glimpse of why they think that way.
(Does that make any sense? I just don’t want to give any spoilers away. I REALLY WANT you to read this book! So I’m trying not to spoil it for you…)
Can we just take a moment to honour Granny, the dog? Sniff… Oh the feels!
(See how I crossed my spoiler out, so you weren’t forced to read it? Huh? Did you see what I did there?)
The Summer that Melted Everything makes you think about issues that were as relevant then as they are now, like racism, mob mentality, homophobia, etc… Unfortunately these weren’t left behind in the 80s. For some reason some of us still hold on to these issues like a comfort blanket… but let’s not get into that right now.
This is a book review, not a rant.
When I decided to read this book, I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be such a brilliant read! I don’t usually read adult contemporary fiction, but I’m glad I did this time. This story doesn’t read like a debut novel, but more like a best seller from a seasoned writer. The story grabs you by the shoulders from the very first chapter and shakes you violently until the very last sentence.
Tiffany McDaniel may very well be on her way to a best-seller if her debut novel is anything to go by. You can get a copy of The Summer that Melted Everything on Amazon now.