Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"The Summer People" by Kelly Link Review

"The Summer People" by Kelly Link is a strange story but it is also a recognized tale by readers.

The story includes a real part, part of the fantasy and criminal component too. The style of writing is also diverse: part of it written in a very easy for reading. It is a friendly style (the part about the friendship), it seems that it is a description of the kind world, next part is full of mysterious things and last part became ominous, at least for bad people. The circle of everyday life which looked as a trap was torn by the main character but as it was revealed in the end the circle remained, it just became wider.

Here is a short summary of the story:

The main character, Fran (the young girl) was awakened by her father. Her father told Fran that he was leaving home for a while and that Fran had to care about "Summer people". That name initially was used in terms of people who come to this remote place for summer holiday. Father's business is to keep order in their houses. The author described a small informal talk between father and daughter very naturally.

"Fran's daddy woke her up wielding a mister. “Fran,” he said, spritzing her like a wilted houseplant. “Fran, honey. Wakey wakey.” ...

“I know you need to stay here and look after me,” Fran said. “You're my daddy.”

Next day Fran was in school and she felt not well, she caught a cold. She asked her classmate Ophelia to drive her home. "Ophelia Merck had her own car, a Lexus. She and her family had been summer people, except now they lived in their house up at Horse Cove on the lake all year round." Ophelia helped Fran in the deal of preparing flat for "Summer people" - the Robertses whose arriving was expected.

When the girls came to Fran's house, Ophelia offered help to Fran due to her high temperature. In spite of the refusal of Fran, Ophelia visited her friend next morning and delivered her some food. Instead of expected requests such as delivering medicine, calling for ambulance etc, Fran asked Ophelia to visit the home of "Summer people". After that, the story switched to a genre of fantasy. The "Summer people" appeared as magic personages, like dwarfs. They displayed on the walls warning "BE BOLD, BE BOLD, BUT NOT TOO BOLD."

After Ophelia came back with some magic stuff like toys and Fran drank the elixir which was magically produced, she became healthy and Ophelia was amazed and charmed by fabulous things which she saw. This part of the story reminds the reader of famous stories like "Alice in Wonderland" or "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". Reading this, the reader is probably drawing in the mind the bright and colorful pictures from fairy tales read in childhood.

The plot's line and style of writing were changed dramatically when Fran came back home alone and saw in her home two criminals (Kyle and another guy). They demanded to open them the summer's people houses in hope to rob them. Fran leads them to the mysterious house and the fate of bad people waited for them there. The author didn't describe the scene of execution, for readers was left only a hint "She wondered what the queen would make of Kyle".

We don’t know what happened with Ophelia, probably nothing wrong, she stayed in summer people house and maybe replaced Fran. Thanks this fact, Fran left her home and traveled to Paris. She knew about summer people that "they had winter places as well as summer places". But she missed her home and "She tells herself that one day soon she will go home again".

I read some reviews about this story where the literary style was estimated as beautifully written. Really, the language is easy, but the style changed. Interestingly that readers had very different opinions about the quality of this story: in social network "Goodreads" they graded it from one to five stars.

People were described in the story as weird but they had simultaneously familiar characters. This story would be recommended for reading for people who are ready to dedicate some of their time for unlocking riddles.

This is the link to the text of Kelly Link's story ‘The Summer People'

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