"Summers's memoir is a complex contemporary tragedy written by a mature, talented writer. Summers speaks directly to her husband, Stuart, who chose to end his own life, in this painfully honest eulogy. The intimate style, combined with second-person narration, gives the story a page-turning tension. Summers must first accept that her emotional, smart, artistic husband has fallen deeply in love with another woman. The small family that includes two young daughters is fractured when Stuart moves out of their Victorian home in the suburbs of a South African city, and the rupture deepens when Stuart moves further away from his family and his reluctant lover to be near his sister, Ruth, in Cape Town. Summers works from a distance to keep her long-suicidal husband alive, while Ruth makes similar efforts from nearby. Ultimately, the love of his wife, sister, and children are not enough to keep him alive. Summers's skilled prose ("Bleakness permeates the moist air and seeps into my pores") makes this traumatic book bearable to read. This memoir is a cathartic exercise for the author and could well serve in the same capacity for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"It Rains In February is a touchingly written memoir in the form of a posthumous letter to Ms. Summers deceased husband. The prose is stunning and lush, rich with detail. As a reader, I could smell the flowers, the coffee, the cigarettes, the sea, and the death. The characters are richly drawn and undeniably real. I consider myself a fan of the memoir, and every word of this one rings true on the deepest emotional level. It is a work of unquestionable courage and vulnerability. One cannot help but be moved by the immense sacrifice this woman is willing to make for this man, her family, and the meaning of life, death and love. Ms. Summers also shows a biting grasp of the language. E-mails passed between the characters provide the reader with a wildly intimate look at a couple struggling with every duality imaginable: love and loss, joy and madness, friendship and intimacy and, ultimately, life and death. It will leave you questioning the meaning we attach to all of it. It Rains In February reads as a wrenching yet uplifting, brutal and gentle, hopeless and life-affirming story. If youre like me, you ll want to start it again as soon as you finish the first read." -- John Duffy, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and author
"Leila Summers has written a memoir that takes you completely into her world. Saved emails and intimately personal diaries cried out to be crafted into a book, and Summers has not let them down. Her vivid images draw the reader into the room with the abandon of a movie-goer watching a fine film. She portrays her husbands agony and behavior with the clarity of an observer yet the compassion of a loving wife. Summer's indomitable spirit provides testament to the power of the heart to rise above tragedy and embrace hope." -- Dr Deborah Barry, The Happiness Coach. Therapist and author
"An insightful and powerfully written memoir. Highly recommended." -- The Wishing Shelf Awards
From the Author
As readers, you will have all sorts of different feelings that my story evokes in you from your individual experiences. Many people may have their own ideas about how I should have handled the bizarre situations I found myself in. Some may find my story unbelievable. If you were looking for a book with a happy ending, this is not it, but sometimes in life, the happy ending unfolds, not through circumstances, but from what we learn from those circumstances. Writing my story has been a huge part of my own healing process which will continue for the rest of my life. I have persevered with my quest for inner peace and will accept nothing less than a life that is rich and meaningful. Jane and Rose and I are happy and healthy and we have a multitude of dreams for a wonderful future ahead.