The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

       "All love leads to cannibalism. I know that now. Sooner or later, our hearts will devour, if not the object of our affections, our very selves. Teeth are the heart's miracle. That a mouth should burst forth on that organ without throat and crave another's flesh, another's heart, is nothing short of a miracle.
         To fall in love is our species' best adventure, and when love, in its burgeoning industry, coils sweetly around our soul, we surrender to the heart's fang and we pray-yes, we pray-to the infinite span that all love has its fair chances, its own share of miracles. And yet the miracles seem pushed to the side when the lovers are young, as if in their youth, there seems to be an almost certain prophecy to be had.
         Maybe the misfortune of young love is just the Romeo and Juliet fragments Shakespeare has left us with, or maybe it really is the voyages of fate that youth and love should burn on contact...."



This story spirals so deep you have to force yourself to come up for air.  When the author contacted me to review her book I was expecting a somewhat fluffy summer time read. Instead I found a story that grabbed onto my soul, it slapped and gut punched me every chapter and I never saw it coming.

The setting is a small town named Breathed, and all of the people that live there. A lawyer by the name of Autopsy Bliss decides to invite the devil to Breathed. Next appears a young boy stating he is just that, the devil..but to call him Sal. The majority of the story is told from Fielding Bliss' perspective, now in his 70's remembering the events of that Summer that changed everything.

Over the course of one summer in 1984 after the arrival of Sal, a heat wave envelopes Breathed and everybody in town seems to be searching for something and yet dreading something. The atmosphere of the story heralds to a time that seems much older than 1984. When sinners were stoned and witches hung.

There was something so dark and yet so everyday that the story became like every headline you see in the papers today. It brings in racism, sexuality, death, murder, anxiety, paranoia, heartbreak and anger, true love and humanity. The questions of good and evil, but mostly what is justice?

The writing is visual poetry you can absolutely lose yourself in the most beautiful and yet harshest of reality. Each subject is like the flip of a coin, the beauty of how something is at it's best, and turned to reveal the darkest it can be. An author's whose words will evoke heartbreaking tears and smiles of happiness in each chapter. A story that left me breathless, speechless and awed.



Tiffany McDaniel is an Ohio native whose writing is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows. She is also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and artist. The Summer that Melted Everything is her debut novel.  
 

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