In this extraordinary debut novel reminiscent of The Lovely Bones and Little Bee, a mother watches from the afterlife as her teenage daughter recovers amidst the startling dysfunction of her extended family.
A small, bright thread of a story weaves out from the moment of my passing and seems to tether me to this place. Perhaps this is why I have not left yet. Perhaps I have no choice but to follow the story to its end.
Black Dog Summer begins with a murder, a farmstead massacre, in the South African bush. Thirty-eight-year-old Sally is but one of the victims. Her life brutally cut short, she narrates from her vantage point in the afterlife and watches as her sister, Adele, her brother-in-law and unrequited love Liam, her niece Bryony, and her teenage daughter, Gigi, begin to make sense of the tragedy.
A suspenseful drama focusing on marriage and fidelity, sisterhood, and the fractious bond between mothers and daughters, Black Dog Summer asks: In the wake of tragedy, where does all that dark energy linger? The youngest characters, Bryony and Gigi, cousins who are now brought together after Sally’s murder, are forced into sharing a bedroom. Bryony becomes confused and frightened by the violent energy stirred up and awakened by the massacre, while Gigi is unable to see beyond her deep grief and guilt. But they are not the only ones aware of the lurking darkness. Next door lives Lesedi, a reluctant witch doctor who hides her mystical connection with the dead.
As Gigi finally begins to emerge from her grief, she receives some shattering news, and in a mistaken effort to protect her cousin, puts Bryony’s life in imminent danger. Now Sally must find a way to prevent her daughter from making a mistake that could destroy the lives of all who are left behind.
Gorgeously written, with a pace that will leave readers breathless, Black Dog Summer introduces a brilliant new voice in fiction.
Miranda Sherry grew up in a house filled with books. She was seven when she began writing stories. A few decades, numerous strange jobs, and many manuscripts later, Black Dog Summer is the first of her works to be published. Miranda currently lives in Johannesburg with her sort-of-husband and two cats. To find out more, go to Twitter.com/Miranda_Sherry_ or MirandaSherry.com.
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