Listen free for 30 days

The Summer Country

A Novel
Narrated by: Nicola Barber
Length: 16 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

The New York Times best-selling historical novelist delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet - a sweeping Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Barbados, 1854: Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous English merchant clan - merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day. But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados - a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned. 

When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts. 

Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins? Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills? The answer lies in the past - a tangled history of lies, greed, clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.

A brilliant multigenerational saga in the tradition of The Thorn Birds and North and SouthThe Summer Country will beguile listeners with its rendering of families, heartbreak, and the endurance of hope against all odds. 

©2019 Lauren Willig (P)2019 HarperAudio

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jennifer L. Wilson
  • Jennifer L. Wilson
  • 01-08-19

Excellent, Very Well Done

I have to have some mystery with my romance to keep in interesting and Lauren Willig always delivers. Many complex characters with action driven by their environment. The time and place is a character of its own. A masterful touch with difficult topics. I grew up in the Deep South and tend to avoid any novels dealing with slavery. But Lauren vividly portrays the cruelty without relying on graphic descriptions of violence. Even better, she illustrates the complexity of that cruelty and the circumstances that allowed a corrupt system to flourish.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dina
  • Dina
  • 12-08-19

Tediously Interesting

You have to make it through the first 8 hours until things get interesting. Honestly, I did almost give up, but I'm glad I finished it. A lot of research went into this book regarding the early 19th century in Barbados and for that praise is due. But there was a big issue regarding going back and forth between two time periods. The juxtaposed decades were just too close together and the narration exactly the same for both so it was really easy to lose track of which character was speaking. Re-recording with two different narrators would definitely improve the audio experience.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ralphgolf
  • ralphgolf
  • 17-06-19

Fantastic spellbinding historical novel

This is a great book. Fantastic and spellbinding story. You feel you are living the characters lives with them. Really gives an in depth glimpse of historical Barbados. Narrator does an excellent job!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dorothy
  • Dorothy
  • 20-01-20

Amazing narrator!

Interesting historical fiction - mid 19th century Barbados. Great plot, characters span three generations. Highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lisa Smith
  • Lisa Smith
  • 12-07-19

A Great Listen

Mystery, twists and turns...who are they ... read and you might find out. Another excellent performance by Nocola Barber. On to
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mary Heath Swanson
  • Mary Heath Swanson
  • 22-07-19

Left wanting more

My only complaint was the abrupt ending. I would have liked to know how the next chapter of these characters’ lives concluded. Too much left unsaid & unsettled for my taste in the end.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CDRoyall
  • CDRoyall
  • 18-07-19

loved this book

great story and very impressed with the amount of research Laura did to make the history accurate!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MWC
  • MWC
  • 24-01-20

Young adult genre

This may be a good book, but I only listened to enough of it to determine it was written for the young adult audience, so I cannot rate it accurately.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sasha  Wickstrom
  • Sasha Wickstrom
  • 04-01-20

Weak story; poor narration.

Poorly written book. Events the should happen much later in the book, happen almost at the beginning. Voice of narrator very difficult to get comfortable with- that was the first thing that bugged me but I was hoping for a good story despite the narration. To be fair, I only managed to persevere through half the book. First book that I regret using my monthly credit on :(

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kathryn Prescott
  • Kathryn Prescott
  • 17-12-19

The Book that Curbed my Audible Addiction

I hate leaving a negative review. But, I disliked this book so much, I havent purchased another book since I completed it. I have listened to 236 titles and was averaging 2 to 3 a month...sometimes more. I listened to this and I have not downloaded another book in over 2 months. This book was outrageously boring.