The Summer of the Bear, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.The Summer of the Bear is a beautiful story of a family recovering from loss on a remote Scottish island, from Bella Pollen, author of Hunting Unicorns.In the summer of 1979, a tamed grizzly bear is tempted by the lure of freedom and the wild open sea . . . Meanwhile, the sudden death of British diplomat Nicky Fleming has left his wife closed down with shock.

Relocated from Cold-War-riven Germany to a remote Hebridean island, Letty Fleming is haunted by the unthinkable - was it an accident, murder or suicide? And how can she ever begin to explain to her three children that their father may have betrayed his country?

Struggling to find solace in a place she loves, Letty begins to unravel the mystery of Nicky's death, but her determination to protect the children from the truth blinds her to the demons they are already battling.

As the family's secrets threaten to tear them apart, it is only the strange but brilliant Jamie who manages to hold on to the one thing he knows for sure: his father has promised to return, and Nicky Fleming was a man who never broke a promise . . .


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Initially found this book too whimsical and nearly abandoned it after a few pages. Then had another stab at it and enjoyed it. The bear did not really come alive for me but I enjoyed both being in the Outer Hebrides and the Bonn, Berlin, London interludes.The structure of the book worked well - better than the content which was OK but a bit sentimental. James was written very well the whole way through, Georgina came alive eventually, but Alba and the mother Letty sounded like two sides of the author herself and probably suffered from a lack of insight.

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