The Book: Under a Dark Summer Sky, by Vanessa LaFaye
The Blurb: Huron Key is already weighed down with secrets when a random act of violence and a rush to judgment viscerally tear the town apart. As the little island burns under the sun and the weight of past decisions, a devastating storm based on the third-strongest Atlantic Hurricane on record approaches, matching the anger of men with the full fury of the skies. Beautifully written and seductive, Under a Dark Summer Sky is at once a glorious love story, a fascinating slice of social history, and a mesmerizing account of what it’s like to be in the eye of a hurricane.
The Babble: I love a good story that gives me a different perspective on history I think I know. Even better is a good story that teaches me history I wasn’t aware of. Vanessa Lafaye’s Under a Dark Summer Sky did just both. Set in the Florida Keys, Lafaye gives a personal spin to the story of the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, the third-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record. As the storm approaches we’re introduced to the inhabitants of Huron Key: the entrenched entitlement of the ruling white class, the equally ingrained oppression of the black community and –just to stir the already roiling pot- a company of disenfranchised WPA employs, stationed there to build the Overseas Highway. A fascinating book that’s part history tome, part love story, part magical recipe, Under a Dark Summer Sky is worth picking up.