Cover Image: When the Summer Was Ours

When the Summer Was Ours

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Member Reviews

3. 5 Stars

I received this book free for an honest review from Netgalley. 

I really love WW2 stories and this one did not disappoint. It wasn’t the typical story of a Jewish person needing to escape the Germans. Which was. A nice change if yo I have read a lot of WW2 books. It was interesting to get a completely new take on it as these characters were from different countries. It had similar ones to Romeo and Juliet as the characters were from different classes and it was made very apparent that was not okay with their families and friends. It also reminded me slightly of The Book of Lost Names. 
I would recommend this story to others.
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I received an ARC from Netgalley of this book.  This is an historical fiction set in Hungary starting during WWII and continuing after including the uprising in Hungary in the 1950s.  It included the treatment of Romany Gypsies in concentration camps.  I didn't know much about Hungary during/after the war.  The book was good, but not great.  A typical WWII historical fiction that I felt just didn't give me the depth and emotion that I have read in many other such books.  A young well-off woman falls in love with a Romany man, they get separated, and it follows them thru the war and afterwards.  I just felt it was predictable and I knew what was going to happen.  Again, good but not the best of the genre.
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I've just finished 'When the Summer Was Ours'.  What an excellent read.   
The story centres around two young people Eva and Aleandro.  The story takes place in 1943 Hungary.  Eva is from an aristocratic family and is engaged to be married.  Eva happens by chance to meet Aleandro and her world is turned upside down.  Eva is caught between two men her fiance and Aleandro.  Eva and Aleandro live through WWII and the Hungarian uprising and beyond.
I would like to thank NetGalley, Washington Square Press and Roxane Veletzos.
I laughed in parts and cried in parts, it was such a moving story.  Thank you again.
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When the Summer Was Ours is a delightful story of two individuals who meet and fall in love.  Unfortunately they are not able to be together for a variety of reasons. This story also explains the experience of many who lived through the Second World War in Hungary. I would highly recommend this book especially if one enjoys historical fiction.
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I might be shedding a few tears right now. 

At the beginning of this book, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I felt like it was skipping too much/missing out details. However, I thought it got better as the story progressed.  

WWII novels are my favourite historical fiction time period. Since I've read so many, I like when I find a story that is different from the others. 

This book took place in a different location than in used to (Hungary/Russian occupation for cold war) that took me on an adventure. 

There were a few aspects that are expected (a summer to fall in love, getting pregnant after being together for a night, separated for the war) and that I initially rolled my eyes at. However, these points ended up working out for me in the end. 

This book has everything that fellow historical fiction lovers are looking for. It was a stunning story of love and sacrifice. 

Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada!
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Thank you NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and the author, Roxanne Veletzos for an ARC of When The Summer Was Ours. This book is a historical fiction, based in Hungary during and after WWII. 

It’s the summer of 1944 and Eva arrives at her aristocratic family’s summer home in Sopron, Hungary. It’s her last summer as a single woman as she is set to be married to Eduard, a Red Cross doctor currently doing his part at the front lines. 

On one of her visits to the city square, she lays eyes on a Romani man beautifully playing the fiddle. Aleandro is just as taken by Eva and they spend the summer in Sopron falling in love.

Aleandro is an artist and a fiddler and can offer Eva nothing but his love. Their social class and the fact that Eva is engaged to be married are two huge obstacles standing in their way. 

But, those obstacles seem small in comparison to the love they have for one another.

Then, one fateful night, the choice to be together is taken from them both as a brutal act of hatred tears Eva and Aleandro apart and their lives are forever changed. 

I really loved this book! It’s a beautiful story of lasting and enduring love. I’m a big fan of WWII fiction and When the Summer Was Ours brought me to Hungary, a place I didn’t know much about.
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Wow! The author swept me away with her sublime prose and thoughtful human insight. This book reads like an endless sky, sometimes pristinely blue and unmarred by troubles, others navy and violet with intense storms and yet others with threatening clouds. Reading it felt like I was in a completely different world with no traffic noise, no covid, no problems, just letters and words arranged like magic.

Set in 1943 through the 1990s from alternating perspectives, this story is about sense of home and belonging, love, heartache, sorrow and family. Most of the story takes place in Hungary then later in America. Eva is spending time at her home in Hungary, preparing to marry Eduard, a doctor. Her favourite pastime reading medical books in hopes of becoming a nurse. However, her life becomes tangled the day she meets artist Aleandro in a town square. He is besotted with her and cannot stop thinking of her. But she is engaged to another man. Throughout the book the reader is taken on emotional rollercoasters as choices are made amidst the desperate anguish of the war. Lovers are ripped apart. Though war changes things, true love remains and, in fact, deepens. We are taken into the lives of the interesting characters for the next several decades as they navigate love and loss.

The cultural and historical aspects are fascinating and resonate with me to an extent as someone who lives part time near Hungary. The author notes she drew many aspects from real life stories and people...I just love that. It is obvious that much thought went into creating the characters. At times I wanted to shake them, others to hug them. But I was invested. This one really hit me.

For those who seek layer upon layer of depth and emotional impact in their reading, do pick this up. It is unmissable, especially for Historical Fiction readers.

My sincere thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this poignant and lovely book! It really moved me.
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Roxanne delivers again with this gem.  Roxanne enlightened us in the true depth of horror of WW2 at the hands of the nazis.  Not only that the Jewish people endeavoured but the Romini people who were a gentle fun loving people  who cared for everyone. Not easy to read however everyone should read When the Summer Was Ours.
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This is a gorgeous historical fiction book set in Hungry during WWII and a must read for historical fiction fans. I couldn't help but fall in love with Eva and Aleandro and their complicated love story. The descriptions of the cities, villages, and music transported me there. I couldn't put this one down! Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy.
#netgalley #atriapublishing #whenthesummerwasours
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Date reviewed/posted: May 6, 2021
Publication date: August 24, 2021

When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today.

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

“A heart wrenching, a vivid novel of love, war, and loyalty.” —Genevieve Graham, bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child

“An intimate tale of courage and sacrifice.” —Anita Abriel, internationally bestselling author of Lana’s War

This epic World War II tale of star-crossed lovers separated by class, circumstance, and ​tragedy—from the internationally bestselling author of the “gripping…filled with passion and hope” (Kate Quinn, New York Timesbestselling author) The Girl They Left Behind—explores the impact of war on civilian life and the indestructible resilience of first love.

Hungary, 1943: As war encroaches on the country’s borders, willful young Eva César arrives in the idyllic town of Sopron to spend her last summer as a single woman on her aristocratic family’s estate. Longing for freedom from her domineering father, she counts the days to her upcoming nuptials to a kind and dedicated Red Cross doctor whom she greatly admires.

But Eva’s life changes when she meets Aleandro, a charming and passionate Romani fiddler and artist. With time and profound class differences against them, Eva and Aleandro still fall deeply in love—only to be separated by a brutal act of hatred.

As each is swept into the tides of war, they try to forget their romance. Yet, the haunting memory of that summer will reshape their destinies and lead to decisions that are felt through generations.

From the horrors of the Second World War to the tensions of the 1956 Hungarian uprising and beyond, When the Summer Was Ours is a sweeping story about the toll of secrets, the blurred lines between sacrifice and obsession, and the endurance of the human spirit.

What an amazing historical fiction novel. Miss Veletzos is one heckuva writer - memorable characters, great history and compelling plots. If you have not read her books before, be sure to pick up this excellently written novel. I will highly recommend this book to family, friends, patrons and book clubs alike...I will even recommend it to people that say they hate historical fiction...lol.

Take this book to the beach (or your back yard, porch or balcony) and enjoy it  - just wear a tonne of SPF110 as you will lose track of time as you read this. - If we are in the 5th or 6th wave/mutation of COVID19 by then, stay inside: no tan is worth dying for.  

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube  Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🏖️🏖️🏖️🏖️🏖️
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When The Summer Was Ours by Roxanne Veletzos is a book that has left me lost in thought and left with a bit of a mixed review.
The books follows the complicated love story between Eva and Aleandro set in Hungary in 1943. Eva comes from a wealthy family and has a reputation to uphold while Aleandro comes from the complete opposite. He's a gypsy who draws, plays music and has been left to support his brothers. Circumstances tear them apart as Aleandros village is burned down and he flees with his brothers, only to be caught and put in a concentration camp. Eva is left with not only a broken heart, but a baby as well. Fast forward to the future, and after the concentration camp being liberated, Aleandro had been sponsored with a friend to go to New York where he was able to turn his horrifying experience into art and a career. He lives his life as if Eva is beside him and keeps her in constant thought. He is later given an opportunity to go back to Hungary and he jumps at the chance with high hopes of finding Eva, hoping to dive back in where things left off, as if no time has passed. 
This is where things get difficult for me. Eva and Alenadro's story was somewhat stereotypical to me. Rich girl, poor boy, kept apart by their differences of circumstances. I felt like you could've inserted this story into any era, and not much would have changed within it. However, I am sometimes a sucker for those types of stories. Eva's character, while definitely making some questionable decisions, definitely did things with the intent of giving her daughter the best life possible while Aleandro's character just seemed to float by after the concentration camp.
This book to me was just okay. The story flowed easily and kept my attention, but I don't think I was ever wow'd. It felt slightly predictable and just missing something in comparison to other historical fictions I have read. 
⭐⭐⭐/5.
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