The Myth of Perpetual Summer

The Myth of Perpetual Summer

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 her already uncertain life. She takes the responsibility of shielding her family’s reputation and raising her younger twin siblings onto her youthful shoulders.

If not for the emotional constants of her older brother, Griff, and her old guard Southern grandmother, she would be lost. When betrayal and death arrive hand in hand, she takes to the road, headed to what turns out to be the not-so-promised land of Southern California. The dysfunction of her childhood still echoes throughout her scattered family, sending her brother on a disastrous path and drawing her home again. There she uncovers the secrets and lies that set her family on the road to destruction.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501172021 | 
  • June 2018
List Price £9.49 (price may vary by retailer)

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Myth of Perpetual Summer includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book

Introduction

When Tallulah James returns to her Mississippi hometown in 1972 after a seven-year absence, determined to help her brother escape a murder conviction, she hopes to avoid the small-town gossip mill and return to California as quickly as possible. But as Tallulah reconnects with her dysfunctional family, she becomes entangled in a web of long-held secrets about their history of mental illness, her tumultuous upbringing, and a terrible tragedy that nearly tore the family apart. Ultimately, the truth forces Tallulah to reckon with her past—and find a way forward.

Topics and Questions for Discussion

1. Why do you think Susan Crandall opens the novel with Walden’s arrest before revealing Tallulah’s backstory? How did your impression of Tallulah and her family evolve as the flashbacks unfolded?

2. In what ways are the Jameses a product of time and place? How would the novel be different in another setting?

3. Crandall depicts Margo’s activism in stark contrast to her selfishness as a mother. Why do you thin see more

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About the Author

Susan Crandall
Melissa Crandall

Susan Crandall

Susan Crandall is a critically acclaimed author of women’s fiction, romance, and suspense. She has written several award-winning novels including her first book, Back Roads, which won the RITA award for best first book, as well as Whistling Past the Graveyard, which won the SIBA 2014 Book Award for Fiction. Susan lives in Noblesville, Indiana, with her family.

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