The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel *Review*

Thank you to Tiffany McDaniel for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A foolish mistake, it is, to expect the beast, because sometimes, sometimes, it is the flower’s turn to own the name.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperature as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestle with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.

My Experience:

This book has a soul. A living, breathing story waiting to be read and taken in. The writing is completely lyrical creating visuals that make you see the world clearer. Tiffany McDaniel grasped a handful of reality and released it in this book. The beautiful and the ugly and everything in between. The raw honesty of human nature. Dealing with hard hitting topics that are written in a way that allows the reader to learn from them.

She touches on the fears we have in our lives, being alone, not being worth while, or never accepting who we truly are. Yet she also talks about conquering certain fears and moving on. Regrets and forgiveness. A whole story about learning to see beyond what we want to see and not judging too quickly what is good and what is bad.

It speaks of our hate and inabilities to leave prejudices and judgements behind. How our world isn’t always the most accepting of others who are a bit different from ourselves. Often rejecting what we don’t understand. There wasn’t a chapter that didn’t leave me thinking. I thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the writing in this book all while crying at the heartbreaks of life.

A contemporary adult novel that was also a sort of coming of age story. In the sense that we are always still growing up and no matter our age our lives are still trying to come together. Each chapter told from narrator Fielding Bliss, as a now 84 year old man, about a summer in 1984 when he was 13. He ties in events through out his life that were effected by the events in ’84. You see the man that is Fielding and was Fielding. You grow with him and can’t help but break for him. Every character with their imperfections worked their way into my heart. Sal especially.

I am not walking away from this book light hearted by any means. You know from the moment this book starts big events would happen by the end. The tension growing with each chapter as new layer of information piled on that made up these characters. This book broke my heart and made me confront the darkness of the world around us. It is not an easy book to read but it is an important book to read. Simply, this book was haunting.

A very sensitive and heavy topic driven story, sure to bring you to tears. Thank you again Tiffany for sending me a copy!

He was the heart they could all be loved by, and yet not one of them loved him back.

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