The Summer Son

The Summer Son - Craig Lancaster

He owed a lot of people, but I was the only one left to collect. I told myself that I didn’t care about him, only about what he owed me, whatever that was. 

I even tried to believe it. 

When Mitch Quillen’s life begins to unravel, he fears there is no escape. His marriage and his career are both failing, and his relationship with his father has been a disaster for decades. Approaching forty, Mitch doesn’t want to become a middle-aged statistic. When his estranged father, Jim, suddenly calls, Mitch’s wife urges him to respond. Ready for a change, Mitch heads to Montana and a showdown that will alter the course of his life. Amid a backdrop of rugged peaks and valleys, the story unfolds: a violent episode that triggered the rift, thirty years of miscommunication, and the possibility of misplaced blame. In Craig Lancaster’s powerful novel, The Summer Son, readers are invited into a family where conflict and secrets prevail, and where hope for healing and redemption is possible.


This was a really solid book by a new to me author. It wasn't a particular enjoyable book, there were a few moments that were difficult to read. But it was a well crafted, memorable story. 


The thing that made this book for me was the character Jim and his role of a father. It's a subject I find fascinating, I love seeing strong father figures, especially when it's not clear what kind of father the man is as men often adopt a gruff exterior. Often they aren't vocal about what they are feeling, in some cases, it almost seems as though these men are pretty terrible at their roles...but then when you dig deeper, you  find yourself surprised by them. Jim definitely played this role and while he did a lot of questionable acts in this book...I ended up really loving him as Mitch's dad.