4 out of 4 stars
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Stephen F. Day weaved a compelling story filled with unique characters and a predicament that carried on to modern times. Set between 1960 and 1975 during the oil boom of the United States, A Summer's Night told the story of a young ménage à trois in the small town of Borderton, New York. It was a town where sex seemed to be a cheap commodity. Randy, Summer, and Barbie tried to navigate the vicissitude of their life while dealing with individual past traumas. Meanwhile, the hunt for "Black Gold" was creating problems in the town. What hurdle would the trio face? Would the aftermath of their trials make or break them?
The first few pages started normally, so I wasn't expecting the romance and lust that would later become frequent in the storyline. It was on a par in description with a mature romance novel. The author did an excellent job of stirring emotions with just words. He explored different sexualities and addressed some sensitive sexual subjects that bordered on reality.
With three main protagonists, it could be tricky to maintain focus. However, the author balanced it well. The main characters had depth and youthful exuberance. Even the side characters felt alive, and I got emotionally invested in them. The backstories helped to establish a sense of relatability. Barbie was my favorite character because I related to her the most. Regardless of her insecurities, she had an aura of confidence in her. The novel's timeline was not written linearly. However, the author made sure to input the year of a particular scene at the beginning for easy tracking. It was a rollercoaster of emotions.
The underlying theme is the effects of oil mining on the earth. I love how the sexual innuendos and analogy tie into the author's core message. The realism of the issue is still here in modern times and has even branched out to other sectors, but it still delivers the same damage to nature. Profanity and strong language were rampant to bolster the author's points.
A Summer's Night was worth the time spent. It was exceptionally edited with no errors. The writing style, plot, and editing culminated in a smooth reading experience. Seeing that there was nothing to dislike, a rating of 4 out of 4 stars is in order. I would recommend it to lovers of contemporary fiction and young adult novels. Because of its vivid sexual description and strong language, I would not recommend it to readers below 18.
A Summer's Night
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