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It Happened One Summer Paperback – January 6, 2011

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The story of the Whitshank family told in Anne Tyler's hallmark setting—Baltimore. Read the full description | Learn more about the author

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (January 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755359259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755359257
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 9.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,685,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'This is beautifully written, funny and moving in equal measure ... if you take this to the beach you won't regret it - it's honest, warm and a pleasure to read' -- Daily Mail 'A brilliant talent' -- You magazine 'Slickly written and very funny' -- The Times

About the Author

Polly Williams is married with three children and lives in London.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a lightweight summery story, about a woman who goes back to Cornwall for the summer to look after her aged Mum. Nell is a single mother who's always been very career focused. Nor is she terribly close to her family - brother Ethan and sister Heather (who is engaged to Nell's ex boyfriend). But there's a lot of change for all of them in store, as secrets come unravelled and priorities change over the summer.

I really liked the way that the book made me feel like I was hanging out in Cornwall, smelling the salty air. I also liked the way that Polly Williams captures family dynamics in a warm and realistic way. There are a lot of twists in the story and from reading the other reviews, it seems a large part of how much you like this book will come down to how far in advance you figure them out. Initially I found the plot quite intriguing, but then I guessed where it was going and from that point I felt that it unfolded in a fairly predictable and dragged out way, which affects my ranking of it. Other readers won't necessarily agree.

At the risk of sounding like a prim old lady, the other thing I disliked about the book was sentences like this: "Three days later...every bedroom had been farted in, every toilet seat peed on." I felt there were some sentences that had been written in an unnecessarily frank way, and I didn't care for that. Yes, cart me off to the old folk's home now.

Still a frothy, Jane Green-ish style read that's perfect for the beach or pool.
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