THE SUMMER COUNTRY– now in paperback!

It’s hard to believe it’s June already, isn’t it?  But here we are, and here The Summer Country is, now in paperback!

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.

If you’re curious about the history behind the book, you can find pictures, recipes, Q&A, and suggestions for further reading in the free Book Club Guide, available for download here.

Because of the current situation, I won’t be doing any in person touring, but I will be doing several Zoom events!  You can find me from the comfort of your own living room at Cary Memorial Library (Zoom) on June 23rd, Warren-Newport Public Library on June 25th, and Mansfield Public Library on July 23rd.  You can find the details and links to register over on the Events Page.  (The events are free, but space is limited, so registration is required.)

If you’d like a signed paperback copy of The Summer Country, the wonderful folks at Split Rock Books in Cold Spring, NY would be more than happy to ship one (or ten!) your way!  I’ll be popping in there to sign later this month, so just let them know who you’d like the book made out to, and they’ll pass along any requests to me.  Signed books do make wonderful birthday gifts and care packages….

Happy summer and happy reading!


  1. Lynne Davis on June 12, 2020 at 7:58 am

    I just finished reading The Summer Country and loved it! Once I started, I could not put it down. The book jacket on the hardback book says it takes place in 1954 Barbados. This was a little confusing at first as the book says 1854 and 1816. Was this a typo in the book jacket?

    • Lauren Willig on June 12, 2020 at 9:12 am

      I’m so happy you loved it!! And, oh my goodness, that typo. Don’t even get me started…. The day the book came out last year, I left early in the morning on book tour, turned my phone back on when my plane landed– and found five thousand new messages on all platforms. Email, text, Instagram message, Facebook message. What could have happened? I wondered. ALL of them (except one from my husband, assuring me the kids were still alive) were about that typo. A year later, I still get roughly three emails a week about that typo. Somehow, everyone in all the departments– and me!– missed that it had the wrong date on it.

      The good news is, they made sure to fix it for the paperback!

  2. Linda Saether on June 18, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    You have become one of my favorite authors. I love your plotting, your voice, the unveiling of detail until you deliver the last piece that lets it all come together. The Epilogue suggests there is a sequel in the making, so all I can say about that is …Hurry up! I will be the first to pre-order.
    As for your collaborative writing with Karen White and Beatriz Williams, I am so curious about the process of plotting, and the actual writing of the books to make them blend so flawlessly. The Forgotten Room was just beautiful, and full of surprises, but so was The Glass ocean. How did you even decide to embark on these book projects? Have you always been close friends? If not…how did it come about, and whose idea was it?

Leave a Comment