Review: Summerlong by Peter S Beagle

Summerlong is the second Peter S Beagle novel I have read. The first being The Last Unicorn which is one of my all time favourite books (and films). I guess I was expecting something along the same with Summerlong.

I was wrong though. Summerlong is nothing like The Last Unicorn. It is a far more adult book but that doesn’t make it any less magical.

The story follows Joanna and Abe an old couple who still don’t live together and Joanna’s daughter Lilly. They meet Lioness Lazo a waitress at the Skyline Diner and before they know it she has become an integral part of their lives.

The twist in this story prevents me from saying much more because otherwise my review will be absolutely full to the brim of spoilers and nobody wants that! So instead I’ll talk about the writing.

The story follows twists and turns through a maze of feelings and couple’s secrets, to the glue which holds them together to the stitches which tear them apart. Peter S Beagle weaves myth and magic into a modern setting in a way which is truly magnificent. The writing style compares slightly to Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies but where Groff’s novel wraps itself in knots and over-complicates Beagle weaves a story which is eloquent in a none egotistical way.

An enchanting and woeful story of love, myth and magic.

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