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The Myth of Perpetual Summer

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  324 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews
From the national bestselling author of Whistling Past the Graveyard comes a moving coming-of-age tale set in the tumultuous sixties that harkens to both Ordinary Grace and The Secret Life of Bees.

Tallulah James’s parents’ volatile relationship, erratic behavior, and hands-off approach to child rearing set tongues to wagging in their staid Mississippi town, complicating he
Paperback, 355 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by Gallery Books
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister
5 southern family secret stars to The Myth of Perpetual Summer, my first favorite read of summer! 🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺

Set in Mississippi in the 1960s and 70s, Tallulah James’ story is memorable and haunting. Her parents have a tumultuous relationship sparked by a self-absorbed, yet bleeding-heart when it comes to social causes outside her own home, mother, and a father with an at times debilitating mental illness.

The town is always talking about the high profile Jameses, including lurid family secrets past an
Diane S ☔
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 review soon.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
The Myth of Perpetual Summer
Susan Crandall

Great writing and interesting characters combine
for a complex and moving coming-of-age story.


Tullulah James would be lost if it were not for her old older brother, Griff, and her Southern grandmother. Her parents are volatile and erratic and are rarely even home. Tallulah has taken personal responsibility for shielding the family‘s reputation and for raising her younger twin siblings.

Following a family death and abandonment Tullulah sets out a
Karen White
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, LOVE this book! Susan Crandall is a master at delving into family dysfunction and the human psyche. Highly recommend.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I won this book through a BookishFirst giveaway. Thank you!

Sadly, I'm going to sit this one aside for now and maybe try again at another time. I don't read a lot of historical fiction and when I do they are usually in the gothic haunted mansion variety. The pacing of this one is much slower than what I'm used to and I keep finding myself distracted every time I pick this up.

I will say the writing itself is exceptional. It's no wonder that Susan Crandall has achieved the success that she has.

Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“I stare at the house for a few minutes, even now surprised I’m standing here, a place I thought I’d never see again. It causes a strange sense of vertigo, this collision of long-ago and now of childhood pain and adult understanding, of the unchangeable past and the possibilities of the future.” My favorite quote in The Myth of Perpetual Summer

This story tugged at my heart. Tallulah James, a precocious and thoughtful 13-year old girl grew up way too fast due to her selfish and largely absent par
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tallulah knows that there is something not right about her family. Her Father (Drayton) has episodes of “hurricanes” and “shadows.” He is bipolar but not much is known about the illness and how to treat it in1958.

Hurricanes describe his manic phases, when he is very energized, doesn’t sleep for days and his brain races with ideas. He also can be, paranoid, obsessive and impulsively buys things they can’t afford and don’t need.

In contrast, Shadows are the depressive phases when Drayton is feelin
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
Susan Crandall's latest novel is a coming of age story set in the sixties, following the James family through small town gossip and dangerous accusations.  Tallulah James's parents have a passionate but unpredictable relationship that often takes precedence over their children.  Her father suffers from erratic behavior and whispers around town suggests he inherited this trait from his uncle George who disappeared years ago and has since been erased from the family.  Her mother's parenting could ...more
Basic B's Guide
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“My parents loved so wildly, they destroyed each other. My father was a tormented man. My brother betrayed my trust. My mother is a self-centered hypocrite. My grandmother has secrets so dark she’d lose me than reveal them. I’m afraid if I love you, you’ll destroy me.”

A coming-of-age tale reminiscent of Glass Castle. Set in Mississippi during the 60s, this book deals with mental illness, the civil rights movement, and dysfunctional family life.

Tallulah returns home after seven years, when her yo
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Truly could not put this one down. A deep look into the lives of a troubled family with past secrets keep coming back to haunt them. Memorable characters and a setting so realistically described that I could feel the heat of the summer days. The perfect book for the beach, pool, or comfortable chair at home.
Alyssa Nelson
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

The Myth of Perpetual Summer is a coming of age story rife with trauma and tragedy while focusing on the bonds of family and how much it means to have a core group supporting you no matter what.

The novel has dual-narration, with one part focusing on Tallulah growing up, and then the other part focusing on present-day, when she’s returning home. While I liked this style overall, I wish some
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoy Crandall’s previous work but struggled to find as much passion in this work.

The Myth Of Perpetual Summer follows a young woman named Tallulah as she comes of age during a tumultuous time in history (civil rights) and an even more difficult time for her personally.

As she grows she has to come to terms with her past, specifically, her highly dysfunctional family history, a violent crime that touches her family, and abuse.

The book had all the ingredients but for this reader it jus
Tina Woodbury
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For all of my reviews: www.readingbetweenthepagesblog.wordpr...

I was drawn into this story from the very first chapters!

Tallulah James kneels in front of her TV and sees a mug shot. The mug shot of her brother that she has not seen in several years. They say he is a killer, but she just can’t believe that would be true. Tallulah drops everything and takes emergency time off from work and returns home. She is heading back to Lamoyne, Mississippi, the town she was born and raised in. It has been n
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I've so enjoyed reading Susan Crandall's previous novels and The Myth of Perpetual Summer was no exception. The characters are so real and well developed. I get completely caught up in their stories and think about them long after the novel ends.

Tallulah James has left her Mississippi roots long behind when she receives disastrous news about her brother that calls her to come to his rescue. As soon as she arrives back, she is bombarded with memories from her difficult childhood but she also bri
Darcia Helle
Oh, this book! I'm trying to steer away from all the cliche words, but they are what comes to mind: compelling, powerful, thought-provoking, enthralling, beautiful.

The writing is exceptional. Susan Crandall doesn't overload us with words in order to pad the pages with unnecessary filler. There wasn't a paragraph I wanted to skim or even one word I wanted to skip. Crandall gives us exactly the right words to elicit emotion, offer insight, and paint a portrait. This is the kind of book I call imm
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy nothing more than a good book about the south and this was one of those books. It was about a dysfunctional family in the 60s in Mississippi. There was a little mystery, a little romance and wonderful characters to love so it was a perfect book to curl up with on a long summer evening.

Tallulah left home at 16 to try to find a more stable life. She hitchhiked to California to start over and never let anyone at home know where she was. When she heard that her brother was in jail for murder
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Called back to a past she hoped she erased, Tallulah Mae James sets her steering to the swelter of southernmost mud when news hits her of her brother’s charge of murder.

Coming from a family tightly knit, due to its loose ends, begins on a pecan plantation. The father is an undiagnosed manic-depressant professor, the mother a flighty, free-spirited activist, and their combination tends to erupt more than teenage acne. Griffin, the eldest, tries to shield Tallulah “Lulie” from the ugliness around
Reeca Elliott
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-app, netgalley
Tallulah just saw the news. She cannot believe it. Her little brother is being accused of murder. She must get home. Even though she has not seen him, or anyone in her family for years, she knows she must go back to Mississippi and face her past.I love Tallulah. And I really do not know how to describe her. She has been hurt and is a damaged woman, especially when it comes to relationships. But, she is a character that loves with all her heart.Tallulah had some hard times as a child. Her father ...more
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tallulah James' life begins as a young girl living in the late 1950's in rural Lamoyne, Mississippi. Her mother neglects her and the entire family. The children call her by her first name, Margo and are resentful because she is so obsessed with other causes that she barely has time for them or their father. Tallulah's father, although a tenured professor at the local university, suffers from mental illness and keeps a liquor bottle as company as her childhood "progresses". Her grandmother is the ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, arcs
* Thank you Gallery Books & BookishFirst for my free review copy. *

Tallulah James' childhood is not stable - her parent's relationship is volatile, their behavior is erratic, and their approach to raising their children is very hands-off. Her constants in her life are her older brother and her grandmother. After a life-changing event occurs in their family, Tallulah heads out to California and recreates herself. Seven years later she returns home when her younger brother is accused of murder
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The half-page prologue lured me right into this story! It’s 1972 and an adult Tallulah has returned home to small town Mississippi without the open door of the family plantation- it’s ruined - or the welcoming arms of family - they’re estranged and her youngest brother’s on trial for murder.

Just when she settles in, chapters take us back to her childhood so we understand why she ever left. This is not a well-to-do Southern family. They’re dysfunctional and struggling to make a living with their
Paul Pessolano
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The Myth of Perpetual Summer” by Susan Crandall, published by Gallery Books.

Category – Fiction/Literature Publication Date – June 19, 2018.

I fell in love with Susan Crandall’s writing when I read “Whistling Past the Graveyard” and she certainly doesn’t disappoint one in her newest novel, in fact, I thought it was even better.

The story is based in the tumultuous 1960’s when everything seemed to be changing. Life styles, beliefs, Vietnam, and the family were going through an upheaval.

In rural Mis
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Part coming of age tale, part family saga, this work of historical fiction put me in mind of V.C. Andrews and I mean her true style when she was alive, not the ghost written books that came out after her death. Although on second thought she would have made it shorter to stretch it into a trilogy. Tallulah James is on her way back to a home she never expected to return to, after news reports that her brother has been arrested for murder. On the way, and once there she recalls what it was like to ...more
Wendy Wax
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Susan Crandall had me on page one and never let go. A complex, beautifully written journey of survival and self discovery.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was about having to grow up with someone in the family with mental health illness. It was back in the days when people thought if they just hid it from others it would just go away. It was never talked about ever in the family, even if it was tearing them apart. Such a sad story. Though it was fiction, I'm sure in some families even now it is close to the truth.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
4.5 *s. I love a good Southern dysfunctional family tale and this novel fits. After fleeing a difficult childhood to live her adult life in California, Tallulah returns to the south when her brother has been put in jail. Tallulah is forced to address her past and finds more secrets revealed. This is a well written story with great characters.

Thanks to Gallery Books for a free copy.
Rhiannon Johnson
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Be sure to follow me on my Bookstagram: @writerrhiannon

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation**

I had my doubts about 20% in on this one and almost quit. The writing is thick with Southern expressions and they almost got to be too much. I also couldn't figure out where THE storyline was in the jumble of storylines. But, in the end, I'm glad I stuck with it! This family's dysfunction is not easy to figure out at first.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Gallery books for providing me with a free copy of The Myth of Perpetual Summer in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

This. Book. Was. So. Good! I literally hugged this book when I turn the last page. This is going to be a full out gushy review because I have not one bad thing to say about this book.

When I think about why I like to read, the only important thing that comes to mind is: love of a good story. I love to be told a good story or read a good story. The
Michelle Arredondo
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am always in pure bliss when I come across great Historical Fiction. The Myth of Perpetual Summer by author Susan Crandall has been such a delight to read.

So many feels for everything about this book...historical fiction, a coming of age tale, topics touching on family dysfunction, dark secrets that keep resurfacing, the choices we make and the effects of those choices, heart break and's such an expansive story of the James family and all the drama that surrounds them and their
This book teaches you that the things that hurt you as a child may have been just as hard on the people you blame and until you hear the story from their side, you don’t know the whole story.

This family has it’s troubles, as Tallulah calls them her Daddy’s hurricanes and shadows, we would probably call him bipolar by today’s standards but in 1958 Tallulah just knew her daddy had hurricanes and shadows. Her parents are very hands off and when tragedy strikes the family falls apart, Tallulah goes
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Alas, the rumor is true, Susan was a dental hygienist in her previous career. However, she "retired" from that profession many years ago and has been a full-time author ever since--thanks to all of you fabulous readers.

Susan grew up in a small Indiana town, married a guy from that town, and then moved to Chicago for a while. She is pleased to say that she has been back in her hometown for many yea
More about Susan Crandall

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