Sunday, March 13, 2011
What A POD Person Reads: The Summer Son
Title: The Summer Son
Author: Craig Lancaster
Publisher: Amazon Encore
Point of Sale: Amazon
Reviewed by: Chris Gerrib
In June of 2009, Craig Lancaster asked me to review his first novel, 600 Hours of a Life. Even though character-driven contemporary novels aren’t exactly my cup of tea, I agreed, and found that I loved 600 Hours. In fact, I loved it enough that I put Lancaster’s second novel, The Summer Son, on my “to be read” list.
Well, I got to The Summer Son yesterday, and read it in one enjoyable gulp. Lancaster lives in Montana, and sets his novels in the contemporary American West. They’re not modern-day cowboy books, although Summer Son does have a ranch on it. Rather, they are stories about how fathers and sons interact as they age.
The Summer Son starts off with a dad, Jim Quillen, calling his estranged son Mitch. However, Jim never says why he’s calling, despite having been absent for years. Mitch, who’s having issues of his own, is persuaded to fly to Montana and figure out what’s eating dad. The plot then takes the form of a mystery, as Mitch investigates the man he thought he knew, and discovers how much he didn’t know about his dad and his mom. These discoveries continue even after Jim’s death, when Mitch learns a surprising yet well-established fact about his dad.
Character-driven novels may not be my cup of tea, but I have to make a big exception for anything Craig Lancaster writes. The Summer Son is a damn fine book.