One Summer in Savannah

Sourcebooks Landmark. Jul. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9781728265742. pap. $16.99. F
DEBUT Alabama-based collection development librarian Harris’s first novel is filled with challenges, the first of which is the existence of Sara Lancaster’s daughter, who was conceived during a sexual assault. Alana resembles her father and similarly possesses a genius-level proficiency in mathematics. When Sara’s father begins to ail, mother and daughter leave the relative privacy of Maine for Savannah, to care for him and run his bookstore. Even though Savannah is where her sexual assault took place, Sara hopes to keep Alana’s existence a secret from the Wylers, the family of her attacker. While the focus of Harris’s novel is admirable in its exploration of the myriad shapes of forgiveness and the ripple effect of grief, there are too many contrived plot devices that muddy these messages. Among these are Sara’s love life taking a frankly unbelievable twist and the too-pat revelation of a mysterious benefactor who keeps the bookstore solvent.
VERDICT While emotionally ambitious in its choice of topic, this debut takes on too many challenges and fails to fully execute.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing