Happy Birthday to THE SUMMER COUNTRY!

I’ve spent a decade thinking about The Summer Country, including two years researching it, and one year writing it– so I can’t believe it’s finally a book!  And in stores!  And people seem to like it so far!

This is my first ever book to receive the Historical Novel Society’s mark of approval: the Editors’ Choice stamp.  The Historical Novel Society calls The Summer Country “the best of historical fiction… one comes away not only highly entertained but also edified”.

Here’s the official blurb:

The New York Times bestselling historical novelist delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Barbados, 1854.  Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous English merchant clan—merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day. But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheiritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados—a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned.

When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts.

Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins?  Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills? The answer lies in the past– a tangled history of deceit, greed, clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.

A brilliant multigenerational saga in the tradition of The Thorn Birds and North and South, The Summer Country will beguile readers with its rendering of family, tragedy, and the endurance of hope against all odds.

Would you like to read the first two chapters?  Just click here.

Would you like a signed copy (or ten)?  Just contact the amazing folks at FoxTale Books and they’ll have me sign one and send it your way.  You can also order signed copies from Boswell Books in Milwaukee, 57th Street Books in Chicago, or The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, so just pick your favorite indie bookstore!

Do you already have a copy but would like a signed bookplate to paste into it?  Email me at willig@post.harvard.edu with Bookplate in the subject line.

Would you like to join me in celebrating?  Come find me on the road!  I’m at FoxTale Books in Georgia tonight with the amazing Karen White, in Decatur tomorrow at lunchtime, in Gwinnett tomorrow evening, and in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Scottsdale later this week.  I’ll also be popping around to Connecticut, New York, Houston, and various other places later this summer.  Click here for the full list of events!

Do you have a book club in want of a book?  My publisher and I have put together a special book club guide for The Summer Country!  You can find discussion questions, pictures, recipes, background info, and everything else you need for your book club discussion in this handy dandy, free, downloadable book club guide.  (But read the book first!  There are some spoilers in there.)

Have I forgotten anything?  If you have any questions or comments, I’m always available here on the website or over on my Facebook author page.  And you can find pictures from tour popping up shortly on my Instagram!

Happy reading!  I can’t wait to hear what you think about The Summer Country!




  1. Céline on June 4, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Congratulations!!! It’s finally there!! ♥

  2. Julie on June 5, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    I just received my copy today. Waiting to enjoy it over this coming weekend!

  3. Vanessa on June 6, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    I was wondering if there was a typo in the book sleeve? It says it takes place in Barbados in 1954?

    • Lauren Willig on June 6, 2019 at 7:36 pm

      Yep, very much a typo. Sigh. There’s always some howler that slips through…..

  4. Allison on October 4, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    I was wondering about the book sleeve as well. Good to know. Can continue enjoying the book without trying to figure out if that was significant.

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