Review: The Summer of 1957

The Summer of 1957: Secrets Left in the Basement


In the summer of 1957, eight-year-old Penelope Evans was sexually molested. Two months later, the man who molested her was found dead in his car from a gunshot wound to the head. It was ruled a suicide. Now, thirty-six years later, Elizabeth Scott-the granddaughter of the dead man and a police investigator-wonders why her beloved grandfather would commit suicide. Elizabeth is intent on finding out if it really was suicide or if he was actually murdered. Unaware of Penelope’s experience in 1957, Elizabeth asks her former childhood friend to help get the case reopened. Penelope refuses, and after secretly reading her mother’s diary, she is determined to keep Elizabeth from reopening the case. As these two women move forward on divergent paths, Elizabeth discovers unfathomable secrets her family has kept from her. Penelope is forced to confront her past as her current life unravels. Both women are faced with life-changing decisions that will affect their lives and the people they love most.

Rating: 4-stars


The Summer of 1957 by Judith E. Powell is an intriguing mystery. A horrible crime was committed. Then later on another occurrence linked to the crime hits a note with someone. It takes a toll on several people. Two girls whose lives changed forever. One was a victim and the other suffers through grief. Both of their pains are connected. One of them does not realize just how much their lives are entwined until a deeper look into the current case is examined. Secrets spill. Truths that were once hidden are now open. I felt the girls’ and their struggles for normalcy. There was never any hope of a normal life. Not for either of them. This book was a good yet emotional read. It’s a quick tale. Judith E. Powell created a world so real and so engaging she had me on the edge of my chair with my head tucked into the book. The cast of characters brought this mystery/intrigue to life. I was entertained from the beginning to end. I was hooked. It had a way of luring me further into its journey. I had to know what happened and how it would end. Overall, I recommend this book to all readers.

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