Jul 8, 2016

The Summer Guest by Alison Anderson: Book Beginning

The Summer Guesthistorical fiction by Alison Anderson, May 24, 2016 by HarperCollins. Blinded by a fatal illness, young Ukrainian doctor Zinaida Lintvaryova is living on her family’s rural estate in the summer of 1888. When a family from Moscow rents a cottage on the grounds, Zinaida develops a deep bond with one of their sons, a doctor and writer of modest but growing fame called Anton Pavlovich Chekhov.

Zinaida's journal is based on a true story and on the little known about her from the letters and the obituary Chekhov wrote  for her when she died.  (publisher)

Book beginning:
The road is leading into the distance, the distance where we are going and which we cannot see; there is a slight rise toward the horizon and tall grass and a long line of poplar trees. It's deserted, we have the whole world to ourselves, the tall grass is bending to the breeze.... (more)

She was pleased with her words.

Well, not exactly her words; they were meant to be his words, and only as she reported them. Perhaps he had said something quite different. They had been for a ride in the carriage, and these words were a gift of vision, a way of helping her see the world. The difficulty lay in capturing a moment; his voice, its warmth and depth, was lost already. What could a short paragraph do to convey so much - the road, the trees, the sky, the light, a whole vista no one could see now, except through words?  And his presence there, with her, a brief respite in her darkness, his breath, his low laughter.

Page 56:
Don't apologize, Zinaida Mikhailovna. You are right. I'm going to give serious thought to starting a novel. I now you will be an ally. But please don't mention it to the others -- my sister Masha, or my friends when they arrive. They'll only badger me, in their way. 

I was impressed that the author has written novels on Amelia Earhart and a romance inspired by Darwin, and is also a literary translator, the translator of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, one of my favorite books.  I find her writing elegant. I hope to finish The Summer Guest this summer!

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.


  1. I have to check this out! I remember doing The Cherry Orchard by Chekov in Drama School and loved it. Thanks for sharing! You can have a look at my Friday Meets here: http://marelithalkink.blogspot.co.za/2016/07/friday-meets-08-july-2016.html

  2. I do love the sound of this one. Thanks for sharing...and I always love elegant writing.

    Here's mine: “IN TWENTY YEARS”

  3. This sounds wonderful and I love knowing where the inspiration came from. I've added it to my TBR.

  4. Sounds interesting. I hope you are enjoying it. I'm working my way through TBR mountain and landed on Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas this week. Happy reading!

  5. I really enjoy historical fiction based on real people. This forces the author to do more authentic research and the book carries an authority with it. I will look for this book.
    My Friday Quotes

  6. I just finished this e and really enjoyed it. Good pick! Enjoy!

  7. Wow! This sounds like an awesome book! Here’s my Friday 56!

  8. I can see what drew you to this one. Hope you enjoy it:)

    My Friday 56 from Scar Tissue

  9. I don't know if it's for me, it sounds like a highly emotional read. I hope you love it though! Happy weekend!

  10. This looks an interesting read! Thanks for sharing. Here is my Friday 56

  11. This sounds very good. I liked the quotes that you posted. Books that incorporate the writing of books within their plots tend to interest me.

    If you write a review of this one I will be curious to read your final thoughts.

  12. Harvee ~
    This sounds quite intriguing, and I like the cover design as well. Have a terrific weekend!


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