Tuesday, August 24, 2021

When the Summer Was Ours by Roxanne Veletzos


Hungary, 1943: As war encroaches on the country’s borders, willful young Eva César arrives in the idyllic town of Sopron to spend her last summer as a single woman on her aristocratic family’s estate. Longing for freedom from her domineering father, she counts the days to her upcoming nuptials to a kind and dedicated Red Cross doctor whom she greatly admires.

But Eva’s life changes when she meets Aleandro, a charming and passionate Romani fiddler and artist. With time and profound class differences against them, Eva and Aleandro still fall deeply in love—only to be separated by a brutal act of hatred.

As each are swept into the tides of war, they try to forget their romance. Yet, the haunting memory of that summer will reshape their destinies and lead to decisions which are felt through generations.

From the horrors of the Second World War to the tensions of the 1956 Hungarian uprising and beyond, When the Summer Was Ours is a sweeping story about the toll of secrets, the blurred lines between sacrifice and obsession, and the endurance of the human spirit.



About The Author

 Roxanne Veletzos was born in Bucharest, Romania and moved to California with her family as a young teen. Already fluent in English and French, she began writing short stories about growing up in her native Eastern Europe, at first as a cathartic experience as she transitioned to a new culture, then simply to pursue what had become an unrelenting passion. She has worked as an editor, content writer, and marketing manager for a number of Fortune 500 companies and has been writing fiction since 2012. Her first novel, THE GIRL THEY LEFT BEHIND, is based on her family's true story. 



My Review

 As I began this book and saw the planning of the wedding I had to again look at the date, 1943, so I was surprised as to the life this young woman was leading. Didn’t have to wait long for the other shoe to drop, and things to get bad in Hungary.
We see what looks like she has an ideal life, her father has money, and she is about to marry a doctor who is at the front taking care of the wounded, but life can’t be smooth during war time, and we get to see what happens.
I loved the author’s notes, and see that this fictional story has roots in real people!
So much pain and evil prevalent at this time in history, and Eva meets her soulmate in Aleandro, a chance meeting, but a lifetime relationship.
The title of this read resonates, it was their summer, but was it, a lifetime of yearning for what cannot be, but each play their part in the life that is presented.
I do recommend this read, it kept me page turning, but beware it can be sad, we cannot change the past.
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Atria Books, and was not required to give a positive review.

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