Reviews of Last Lessons of Summer (2003)
Review by mojosmom (2004-10-20)
An interesting change from Maron's Judge Deborah Knott series, but still set in the South, with another big ol' extended family. Amy Steadman is the granddaughter of the author and illustrator of a well-known children's book series that grew into an empire of toys, videos and soon to be PBS series. As the book opens, her grandmother is murdered, and Amy heads south to clean out the house. While there, she begins to delve into the suicide of her own mother, something that happened when Amy was three and about which the family never speaks.
I zipped through this book, liked it a lot. Maron is excellent on family relationships and family secrets (it's very like the Knott books in that respect). She makes Amy's suspicions of her husband very credible, and Amy's solution to the mystery of her grandmother's death comes as the result of an insight into her own character that makes a lot of sense. There are some interesting and unexpected twists in the plot, and the solution is not immediately obvious. And Maron is completely honest with the reader, everything you need to know is right there.