Under A Dark Summer Sky

by Vanessa LaFaye

Florida Keys, 1935. Hurricane Season.

Tens of thousands of black and white men scarred by their experiences of war in Europe return home to find themselves abandoned to destitution by the US government. The tiny, segregated community of Heron Key is suddenly overwhelmed by broken, disturbed men with new ideas about racial equality and nothing left to lose. Tensions flare when a black veteran is accused of committing the most heinous crime of all against a white resident’s wife. And not far off the strongest and most intense hurricane America has ever witnessed is gaining force.

Look at that cover I love it, and it really makes you pick up the book. With in the first few pages of this book a crocodile tries to take a baby away for a meal and the I thought the dog died trying to save the baby. That was some intense few moments enough to grab the reader and make you not want to put this book down. I for some reason when I first got a copy of this book I thought it took place after WWII but it must be WWI they are talking about since 1935 is pre WWII either way no biggie because this book is so great! I loved the story and how everything unfolded. Under A Dark Summer Sky is about picking up the pieces and healing from all the injustices they have experienced not just with the non acceptance of the war but of the racial tensions that are a constant threat in their day to day life. This is like a Florida Keys The Help. This book is right up there with one of my all time favorite books The Help I really enjoyed it so much!

This book has it all a hurricane, some romance, lots of tension, a crime, and picking up the pieces and beginning  the healing process. The town of Heron Key is full of tension so thick you could cut it with a knife. The help looks out for one another and the residents are not to happy about all the help being around. Under A Dark Summer Sky explores how the veterans of the war were treated. I knew the Vietnam Vets were treated horrible they were not even allowed to wear their uniforms home. I didn’t realize that vets of WWI were treated the same. I like how she brings to light the unfair treatment of these men that put their life on the line and gave up so much just to keep the same residents that don’t want them around free, protected and save.

Vanessa Lafaye is a wonderful storyteller and I am shocked this is her first book. I was wanting to read more from her and hopefully she is busy on another book because I’m ready for more from her. She creates a setting and is so great at describing everything going on you can just picture it in your head. Her characters are fully developed and the story is full of hope, suspense, healing and survival.

I devoured this book in a weekend and this is perfect for summer reading. Grab a copy and pencil out a big chuck of time because your not going to put this one down.

thank you netgalley, Sourcebooks Landmark and Vanessa LaFaye for allowing me to review an ARC copy of Under A Dark Summer Sky. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.