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The Summer We Got Free [Kindle Edition]

Mia McKenzie
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.01 (29%)


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Kindle Edition $9.99  
Paperback $14.00  
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Book Description

Winner of the 2013 Lambda Literary Award. At one time a wild young girl and a brilliant artist, Ava Delaney changes dramatically after a violent event that rocks her entire family. Once loved and respected in their community and in their church, the Delaneys are ostracized by their neighbors, led by their church leader, and a seventeen-year feud ensues. Ava and her family are displaced from the community even as they continue to live within it, trapped inside their creaky, shadowy old house. When a mysterious woman arrives unexpectedly for a visit, her presence stirs up the past and ghosts and other restless things begin to emerge. At the same time, something is reignited in Ava: the indifferent woman she has become begins to give way to the wild girl, and the passionate artist, she used to be. But not without a struggle that threatens her life.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 2952 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Publisher: BGD Press (November 28, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,383 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Read (don't judge by cover) January 10, 2013
I bought this book as a gift for a friend, mostly because we both appreciate the work Mia McKenzie does with Black Girl Dangerous. However, I almost mentally wrote the purchase off as just a donation to the author because I made the age-old mistake of judging it by its (back) cover, which looks rather amateur. I was completely wrong. The first paragraph was slightly off-putting, but after that, the book drew me in rapidly, and in the end, I was completely blown away. It did feel a little rough around the edges, but that may just be the feeling of being pulled out of my mainstream literature comfort zone. I highly recommend it!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Good! December 20, 2012
Mia McKenzie's The Summer We Got Free answers Toni Cade Bambara's question "do you want to be well?" with it's own. Do you remember what I was like when I was? The novel won't let you go as it surges forward with truth only fiction can tell. I was eager for answers as I followed a trail of not bread crumbs but whole pieces of toast slathered in butter that makes you moan or as I did, read passages aloud and neglect sleep for want of the next savory morsel. The Summer We Got Free is the product of a girl child grown up in the stories of June, Alice, Zora, Pearl, Gloria, and even Octavia, told in palimpsestic time where McKenzie's own life doesn't overlap with her characters but it doesn't even matter. Ava is the black girl who reminds us that we are the ones we've been waiting for, to the delight of some and the displeasure of others. McKenzie's masterful weaving of narrative belies an inaugural effort yet it is clearly an afrofuturistic vision of healing transformation and an affirmation that we have what we need. The text is saturated with an effortless queerity and a brush of magical realism that show what's possible when you focus off center. I'll be thrusting this into the hands of everyone I know as I return to it myself to remember I can get free again.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ. Can't wait for more from this author. April 9, 2013
By Tess
I came to this book through Mia McKenzie's blog, "Black Girl Dangerous." I love the blog and wanted to support a young writer in her debut effort as a fiction writer and expected a pretty-good book. But I was wrong.

"The Summer We Got Free" is an amazing, compelling, BEAUTIFUL book.

Everything about this book is wonderfully crafted: the characters, the story line, the feeling of suspense as we learn, little by little, the events of the past that bring each of the individual characters to their own awakenings in the present moment. And because the author has so lovingly brought each character to life, we come to love them too.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Mia McKenzie has the potential to be the next Toni Morrison.

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Evocative, Honest February 17, 2013
By Jay
This book is aggravation - the writing is so beautiful and the imagery so real, and the characters and dialogue so lifelike, that you don't want to put it down. But you also don't want to read too fast because that would make it end, and who wants to leave perfection? In other words, I loved reading this book. McKenzie's descriptions of sensory experiences are a joy - I felt like I could taste and see and hear and feel right along with the characters. It doesn't read like a debut, in my opinion, but instead has a confident, clear voice that sings a tale that should resonate with all readers.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was my favorite book of 2012 January 2, 2013
The Summer We Got Free is an exceptional novel. It's that rare book that sparkles in my hands, and almost makes me late for work because reading the next sentence is more important than getting off at the right subway stop. Mia McKenzie's language is lyrical, musical, precise, and richly layered with a multitude of colors and textures, yet light and flowing and easy to follow. Her characters sing from the page, and their voices are so human, so vulnerable, that it's as if they are old friends revealing the truths of their lives in an intimate café. Ava Delaney in particular is a beautifully, subtly detailed character; I had a hard time saying goodbye to her when I was on the last page. I love the novel's queerness, both in its content and style. McKenzie weaves her character's stories together in a masterful knot, and then releases it with a magical touch that leaves us breathless, amazed, and free. Read this book!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could NOT put this book down. Read it in 2 days. April 15, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is engaging and the story is so complex, I was so excited to find out what happened in the end (and what happened in the past, too, of course). I was on the edge of my seat. It's painful to read at times (I don't want to spoil anything so I won't say more there), and some moments are almost unbearably tender and textured, but it's rewarding. I read a lot, and this is the best book I've read this year, NO QUESTION.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK. April 23, 2013
By Erica
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Read it read it read it. Great writing and great story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, beautiful book March 30, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This good is so beautifully written, complex and tender. It tackles political issues in a way that brings out the humanity in every person.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
The best book I've read in years. I connected with the characters as if I lived with them too. In some ways, I was reminded of myself. Great book
Published 16 days ago by GaPeach
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!
I am not a huge fan of fiction, so I rarely read it, but I love Mia's blog, so I gave it a shot. So glad I did....
Published 1 month ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous book
Lush and wonderfully written. Like a bowl of ice cream I did not want to get to the end of.
Published 2 months ago by swker2005
5.0 out of 5 stars poetic and colorful
Having finished the book, I am still in awe of McKenzie's writing-poetic, colorful, insightful, charming, and yet, able to reach the reader without displaying presumption. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Takeia R Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
This book draws you and won't let you go until the very last page. It's the kind of book that makes you sad to turn the last page because you just want more.
Published 2 months ago by Tonia C Poteat
5.0 out of 5 stars Read Mia McKenzie's Book
This is a great read. It is informed by feminist lesbianism but the underlying theme is about freedom of expression and freedom to be who you are devoid of fear and societal... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pure Light
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Honest, Inspired. Mia McKenzie is One to Watch.
I bought this book as a way of supporting Mia McKenzie and her incredibly important work with Black Girl Dangerous. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lucy Ricardo Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly interesting book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who was looking for something interesting to read. Normally I have a hard time staying interested in books and end up not finishing them. Read more
Published 3 months ago by MariKo Nielson
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
I loved this book. Most def a must read. Although I would love to read about what happens to the main characters in a sequel.
Published 3 months ago by Macy
5.0 out of 5 stars unusual, intense and captivating.
I have read a lot of lesbian fiction, but this book is one of the few I can truly classify as literature. The storyline alternates from past to present with agility and grace. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Artdeko
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