That Burning Summer

That Burning Summer

3.34 (188 ratings by Goodreads)
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Full of passion, this wartime coming of age story is about a girl, a boy and a crash-landing

Romney Marsh, July 1940. When invasion threatens, you have to grow up quickly. Sixteen-year-old Peggy has been putting on a brave face since the fall of France, but now the enemy is overhead, and the rules are changing all the time. Staying on the right side of the law proves harder than she expects when a plane crash-lands in the Marsh: it's Peggy who finds its pathetic, broken pilot; a young Polish man, Henryk, who stays hidden in a remote church, secretly cared for by Peggy. As something more blossoms between the two, Peggy's brother Ernest's curiosity peaks and other secrets come to light, forcing Peggy and Henryk to question all the loyalties and beliefs they thought they held dear.

In one extraordinary summer the lives of two young people will change forever, in a tense and gripping historical drama from Lydia Syson, the author of the acclaimed A WORLD BETWEEN US.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 20mm | 226g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1471400530
  • 9781471400537
  • 670,373

Review quote

Syson's...great strength is characterisation...A touching evocation of a desperate wartime romance, which evokes a vanished era of hardship and fortitude. -- Suzi Feay * Financial Times * Consistent excellence ... This is only the second novel from an author very much to look out for. -- Children's Books of the Year 2013 * The Independent * Beautifully evoking the atmosphere of a small rural community under threat, it simmers with tension and intensity * Booktrust * The burgeoning romance between the girl and the older, vulnerable man is beautifully and unsentimentally handled; this is a great novel for all those who like their history free of cliche, and who value human experience observed with non-judgmental clarity. * Teach Secondary * A wealth of history is entwined with the story of one family and a seemingly impossible romance ... THAT BURNING SUMMER is a refreshingly different war story ... But it is Syson's beautifully developed characters that make the history come to life. * We Love This Book * Lydia's book therefore touches on a very nervous time in Britain's history (...) Lydia tells a detailed story of how life was here in 1940 (based on much research and talking to local people) which weaves together history, romance, courage and coming-of-age in a charming but engrossing way * *
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About Lydia Syson

Lydia Syson is a fifth-generation North Londoner who now lives south of the river. She is working through her ambitions in a disorderly fashion. The publication of her first novel, A WORLD BETWEEN US, has taken a good few decades. During this time she went from being a BBC World Service radio listener in Botswana to a producer in London, and then became a non-medical doctor and mother of four. She also wrote a biography of Britain's first fertility guru, DOCTOR OF LOVE: JAMES GRAHAM AND HIS CELESTIAL BED, learning a lot about enlightenment sex in the process. Getting to Timbuktu is still on the 'to do' list - it was the subject of her PhD thesis - but bilingualism and Hollywood musical stardom are looking increasingly unlikely. You can follow Lydia on or on Twitter: @lydiasyson
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Rating details

188 ratings
3.34 out of 5 stars
5 14% (26)
4 32% (61)
3 34% (64)
2 14% (26)
1 6% (11)
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