Southern Scribe
    our culture of storytelling


 Fiction Review    



The Summer Guest
By Justin Cronin
Dial Press, 2004
Hardcover, $24.00 (369 pages)
ISBN: 0-385-33581-4

The Summer Guest is a nimble blend of a family's love of place, one another, and friends.  

Set in a secluded area in Maine, the novel follows three generations of one family, from the days following Joe Sr.'s return from World War II through his granddaughter Kate's graduation from medical school. After being disfigured in battle, Joe and his wife make the decision to purchase a camp in Maine, a soothing, remote, and silent place. Joe (Jr.) grows up learning how to guide sportsmen in all seasons, knowing he'll inherit the camp some day.   

After the death of his wife, the incredibly wealthy financier Harry Wainwright comes to visit with little expectation of solace. Thirty years later, he arrives knowing he needs to say goodbye to everyone he's loved. 

To write more would be to give away the novel's secrets. 

Intimate and engaging, The Summer Guest is a book that stays with the reader long after the story ends. 

Justin Cronin, Professor of English at Rice University, lives in Houston, Texas. Born and reared in New England, he is the author of the novel in stories, Mary and O'Neil, which won the Pen/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize. He's also won a Whiting Writers' Award, a Pen Fellowship in the Arts, and an NEW fellowship.



Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews


2004, Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved