Cover courtesy of Black Sparrow Press

“I’ve always loved essays for their free-form, discursive nature. You can take an idea and let it roam, go wherever it leads. Nina MacLaughlin does exactly that in her meditation on summer, an extended essay that sprouts like wildflowers in every direction. Her poetic mash-up interweaves strands of history, science, literature and myth, alongside personal anecdote. The result is this wisp of a book, “Summer Solstice,” as evocative as could be.

“One can easily read this sensuous little book in an evening, or dawdle, as I’ve done, over the last week. Why not stretch the pleasure as MacLaughlin writes of grill smoke and blackberries, of grass wet with morning dew?

“This is a book meant for lingering, like summer itself, unhurried, with time to spare.

“‘Summer brings the memory of summer,’ MacLaughlin writes. ‘It’s the season when a person can feel their wingspan again.’ Her book offers a vivid contrast to this moment of masks: the immediacy of a season bursting out of itself, elemental and clean.”


JOAN SILVERMAN, writer, part-time Maine resident and book reviewer for the Press Herald.

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