Jul 25

The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

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I received a free copy of this book as part of my involvement with Netgalley. All thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

The Summer That Melted Everything

by Tiffany McDaniel

Publication date: 7/26/16



Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperature as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestle with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.


My review:

This book took me a couple of tries to read.  At first, the style of writing and the outrageous names of the characters (Autopsy Bliss?) turned me off.  I put it down for a while but eventually came back and managed to get past that which I had disliked before.

I think the best way to describe this book is an even darker To Kill a Mockingbird.  While the setting is decades later, there is still a very strong racial divide, though somehow I totally missed it for a few chapters until I realized Sal was black.  From the marginal characters that come to a play a very big part, to the strange habits of the townspeople, down to the fact that the narrator’s father is a prosecutor – it really felt like I was reading Mockingbird all over again.

However, as I said, this was a much darker novel.  The very fact that Sal proclaims himself as the devil is pretty scary.  I spent the entire book wondering if he really was a devil or even THE devil, and then reading some proof that he wasn’t, only to have my beliefs shaken a few pages later.

Reading this book in the middle of a heatwave, as well as in the middle of summer 2016, in the madness of a presidential election and other sad events, I truly feel that the ending is far closer to possible than I would have thought a year ago.

Please know that this is not a happy book.  There are no happy endings here.  I would actually suggest saving this for fall or winter reading as it seems far more fitting for those shorter days.

The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel will be released on July 26th, 2016.  You can find it at major booksellers like Amazon.com.


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1 comment

  1. 1

    I will be keeping this book in mind for a chilly winters day–and after the catastrophe we call the Presidential Primaries and elections are over. As for the rest of the bad stuff happening on a pretty consistent basis lately–I know about it and I keep hoping it is all a bad dream. Real life is scarier then fiction lately.

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