It Wasn't Always Late Summer
This is a powerful story of Mary, a single teenage mother, living on a housing estate plagued with predatory abuse and prostitution, and Annie, an innocent girl whose ghostly presence links the central characters over two generations, bringing the events that led to her death, the loss of innocence and the unfolding story to a dramatic, thrilling conclusion.
Some Reviews on Amazon:
"Ray Noble’s It Wasn't Always Late Summer is a mystery/suspense story of Mary, a teenage mother living in a broken down housing estate and Annie, a child whose life had been stolen a generation before and whose ghostly presence links the central characters in a dramatic conclusion.
I will not recapitulate the plot in any detail for fear of “spoilers” of the very intimate, intense experience of reading this powerful story. It is a very sad, personal story of loss of innocence, in a culture infested with predatory abuse, drugs and prostitution. It explores what turns an abused into an abuser and the culture of abuse through the characters. It has a “ghost” in it whose presence lends the narrative a mythical character. The ghost also provides the thread that pulls the story together through time, and is the handmaiden of a truly uplifting and very emotional ending.
The story is very sad, I had to put it down for the night several times as I started getting too choked up and could not stand to read more, having a sense of dread for the characters. There is such a sense of vulnerability - of both the males and females characters - but in particular it brings the abuse of girls into sharp focus, the culture of abuse. There is no explicit sex in this book. It works through the impact on the characters. The story enables you to empathize with the characters, even with the abusers, by a very intimate, realistic description of the experience, the stream consciousness of the abusers and the abused, as the situations develop and unfold. It explores what led these characters to be what they are, what the factors were that interacted over time. As one comes to understand these dynamics it lets the whole sad and sorry story be felt, painfully."