Three very different sisters return to their grand family home to face their tumultuous pasts. But home to this family means secrets, desire, and vengeance―and feasting on the sexual appetites and weaknesses of others.
Melanie Hobson’s Summer Cannibals is a vibrant, vicious family portrait ... The family fascinates. Their story is compelling, and each member woos their listeners to regard the others as they do—effectively enough, until the vantage switches again. The audience is forced to shift alliances repeatedly as the girls’ first day home shifts into the second, with more backstory revealed, and as the story hurtles toward the father’s garden tour and its aftermath ... By turns darkly comical and horrifying, Summer Cannibals holds attention.
Hobson’s debut novel is packed with complex relationships and a torrent of emotions as she lifts the highly composed veil from a seemingly put-together, affluent family and brilliantly exposes the lust and betrayal behind their palatial walls. The intricacies of Hobson’s characters and her exceptional new voice will keep readers riveted.
Hobson’s prose is languid throughout, like she’s not rushing anything, but rest assured there’s a story—a few stories, actually—to tell. The novel is told through all five family members’ perspectives, which I found really enjoyable. Instead of getting one character’s version of the truth, you get everyone’s, and then are left to piece it together as best you can—much like how actual family secrets are shared. Overall, I have to say, it’s fun to read about people behaving badly, and this novel is nothing if not entertaining. Tolstoy taught us 'every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' Hobson gives the phrase new life with this lot.