The Summer That Melted Everything: A Review
The Summer That Melted Everything is Tiffany McDaniel’s debut novel. From the first few pages, my attention was quickly caught by her poetic descriptions of the characters. McDaniel is also a poet and artist, so you can easily see her vision for each person, every street, and tragic situation. Before I get into the details and my analysis of this book, I’ll give a quick, high-level overview. The Summer That Melted Everything is about a small, Ohio town in 1984. The main character’s father invites the devil to town. Chaos follows. With every upturn, McDaniel creates a metaphorical explanation that I believe is too true to people who have unfortunate things happen to them. This is not a feel-good book.
Honestly, this book is incredibly hard to explain because of how unique not only the plot, but also McDaniel’s writing style is. McDaniel dives into the characters’ secrets while weaving a beautiful but tragic path for the reader to follow. I could see many comparisons to William Faulkner in McDaniel’s narration. There is something quirky in the way she writes. Even though this was an incredibly depressing book, I never once felt sorrow for the characters.
As for the plot, the reader is kept on edge urging something good to happen to these people of Breathed, Ohio. As I noted, a man invites the devil to town to sort some things out. With the invitation, a young boy shows up and claims to be the devil. Bad luck and disaster seem to follow this boy called Sal. The entire time, I could not decide if he was the devil or if a different character was the real devil, as these terrible situations brought out the worst in most of the town. Something has got to give, is what I kept telling myself as I read. But, for some people, life doesn’t have a happy ending–just as the characters’ lives do not either.
I would highly recommend The Summer That Melted Everything. It was a page-turner that I had to force myself to slow down, in order to better appreciate McDaniel’s writing style. I will note, that I am used to reading tragic novels so this was right up my alley. If you’re a Nicolas Sparks fan (*cough cough–Mom*) this will not be your cup of tea.
Thank you again, to Tiffany McDaniel! I thoroughly enjoyed The Summer That Melted Everything. I’m intrigued to discover what you will write next. To purchase your copy of The Summer That Melted Everything, click the link below!