The Year Without Summer
LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT HISTORICAL FICTION PRIZE 2021
SHORTLISTED FOR THE HWA GOLD CROWN AWARD 2020
‘A STRIKINGLY SHARP AND SUBTLE WRITER’ Guardian
‘SUPERB…BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN…UNFORGETTABLE’ FT Weekend
‘SKILFUL’ Sunday Times
‘RICH, INTRICATE, IMPRESSIVELY REALISED’ Observer
‘VIVIDLY REALISED’ The Times
‘A VISION OF THE PAST AND A VISION OF THE FUTURE’ Irish Times
‘A VIVID SLICE OF HISTORICAL FICTION’ Sunday Express
1815, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia
Mount Tambora explodes in a cataclysmic eruption, killing thousands. Sent to investigate, ship surgeon Henry Hoggcan barely believe his eyes. Once a paradise, the island is now solid ash, the surrounding sea turned to stone. But worse is yet to come: as the ash cloud rises and covers the sun, the seasons will fail.
In Switzerland, Mary Shelley finds dark inspiration. Confined inside by the unseasonable weather, thousands of famine refugees stream past her door. In Vermont, preacher Charles Whitlock begs his followers to keep faith as drought dries their wells and their livestock starve.
In Suffolk, the ambitious and lovesick painter John Constable struggles to reconcile the idyllic England he paints with the misery that surrounds him. In the Fens, farm labourer Sarah Hobbs has had enough of going hungry while the farmers flaunt their wealth. And Hope Peter, returned from the Napoleonic wars, finds his family home demolished and a fence gone up in its place. He flees to London, where he falls in with a group of revolutionaries who speak of a better life, whatever the cost. As desperation sets in, Britain becomes beset by riots – rebellion is in the air.
The Year Without Summer is the story of the books written, the art made; of the journeys taken, of the love longed for and the lives lost during that fateful year. Six separate lives, connected only by an event many thousands of miles away. Few had heard of Tambora – but none could escape its effects.
‘VIVID, VIBRANT, HARD TO PUT DOWN’ Hilary Spurling
‘THOUGHT-PROVOKING, BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN AND VERY COMPELLING’ Harriet Tyce
‘INGENIOUS AND ABSORBING’ Kirsty Wark
‘ASTONISHING, RIVETING, MASTERFUL, POETIC’ Emily Rapp Black
‘A WORLDWIDE CANVAS BROUGHT TO LIFE IN VIVID, HEARTBREAKING DETAIL’ Marianne Kavanagh
Rich in voice, beautifully told, and with a chilling sting in its tail. * *Shortlisted for the HWA Gold Crown Award 2020* * Enthralling * Daily Telegraph * In 1815, a volcanic eruption in Indonesia brings ash and ice, ushering in strange storms and political turmoil. The old ways disappear and there is a hunger for justice and equality. The Year Without Summer is a worldwide canvas peopled by passionate individuals who long for a better future, each one brought to life in vivid, heartbreaking detail. * Marianne Kavanagh, author of FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE * The Year Without Summer is an astonishing, riveting accomplishment. With a masterful grace and poetic beauty, Guinevere Glasfurd crafts a story that, although steeped in a particular historical moment, resonates profoundly for the times we live in now. A truly remarkable book about a remarkable year in history. * Emily Rapp, author of THE STILL POINT OF THE TURNING WORLD * A vivid and multi-faceted novel, bringing to life the social unrest and disorder that followed in this brief period where the seasons did not follow their usual pattern. It is hard to think of a more pressing concern in the current climate * Canberra Times * Definitely scary, sometimes brutal, extremely thought-provoking and beautifully written . . . very compelling * Harriet Tyce, author of BLOOD ORANGE * Guinevere Glasfurd's ingenious and absorbing storytelling brought both the very human and epic impact of the world's worst volcanic catastrophe to life in an indelible way that brings the past right into the present * Kirsty Wark, author of THE LEGACY OF ELIZABETH PRINGLE * Vivid, vibrant, hard to put down. Who'd have thought a book about calamitous climate change could also be such a joy to read? * Hilary Spurling * A vivid slice of historical fiction * Sunday Express * A rich, well-written, and entirely convincing work of historical fiction. Each story adds a dimension to the exploration of climate disaster across social class and geography ... in The Year Without Summer we are offered both a vision of the past and a vision of the future * Irish Times * Guinevere Glasfurd's follow-up to her 2016 Costa-shortlisted debut The Words in My Hand is another superb saga, rich in both historical detail and human interest . . . [Glasfurd] combines her intricate storyline with an impressively realised sense of a world being dragged into the modern age * Observer * Vividly realised . . . this second novel does not disappoint * The Times * Glasfurd is a skilful writer and the book offers much to enjoy * Sunday Times * Superb . . . a stay-up-all-night page-turner . . . a beautifully written, angry, unflinching and unforgettable novel. * Financial Times * Glasfurd is a strikingly sharp and subtle writer who finds beauty in the bleakest situations. She has the rare ability to conjure characters vividly in a few deft strokes and the gift, rarer still, of making us care deeply about them . . . an angry and tender interrogation of tangibly real lives . . . Glasfurd's hard-hitting admonition deserves to find its mark. * The Guardian *
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