Towards Another Summer

Frame, Janet

  13 Reviews

A previously unpublished novel in which Janet Frame explores themes of travel and return, homesickness and belonging. Grace is a migratory bird, longing for her own place in the world, if she can only decide where it is. She is struggling to establish her identity as a writer but first she must learn to be comfortable in her own skins. Written in 1963, this work is a precursor to An Angel at My Table, the autobiography Janet Frame wrote 20 years later. [Taken from book cover.] NZ Interest.

Comments from Groups

We all felt the writing of this book was moving and at times sad. Janet Frame's use of words is amazing. There was much discussion about our impressions of the book.... We just loved it. Christchurch 111

The group found the book challenging, but very rewarding. The language and descriptions of her early life were thought provoking. We had a great deal of sympathy and admiration for her. Nelson 007

A beautifully written book. Unusual, desperately sad in her inability to express herself verbally, yet in her mind everything is so clearly expressed.... Her childhood memories were quite enchanting, but again, seemingly a sad and lonely time. A lively discussion. Wellington 041

Mixed reaction. Many thought the language was great, poetic and evocative - however, many also felt that her "voices" and sad thoughts interrupted the flow of the book.... Nelson 028

Most of the group were daunted by this book but on reading it found it beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable. A wonderful portrait of someone "not yet comfortable in her skin" Welington 074



WELL 104
Only one of our members did not enjoy this book, whereas everyone else thought it was beautifully written. Every aspect of the book was quality - language, storyline, structure, characters - especially Janet's picture of herself. Her descriptions enabled us to visualise the landscape and the situations she found herself in. We were also familiar with the Railway housing and and the life she would have experienced with the constant moves. Her inability to be able to converse and feel relaxed in social situations had an escape with her being able to write so expressively...
MAST 014
Our discussion made us aware of the beauty and skill of Janet Frame's writing. Although this book would never be our favourite, we all felt it had been a rewarding read.
AUCK 267
Generally the book was scored low for enjoyment, but several members admired the accurate (and brave) representation of social anxiety/mental health/Asperger's.
Only two of us completed the book for various reasons. Some started but couldn't get into it. The two of us that did read it found it beautifully and lyrically written. Not much happens in the story, and it was quirky. We found it far easier to read than some other Janet Frame books we have read.
The majority of the group found this enjoyable, and Edwina's digressions and long term memories struck a chord with most ( we are all getting older and forget things!)
NEWP 009
An intense book with amazing descriptive language. Lively discussion - we all "felt" for her agonising shyness.
We all appreciated the brilliant writing, although it was a little wordy. Our leader gave an excellent biography of Janet Frame, who was exceptionally shy and had such a difficult childhood. Could understand why the book wasn't published in her lifetime.
We loved this book, although it made us uncomfortable to witness Janet Frame's extreme shyness and uncertainty.
CHCH 111
Lots of discussion - a wonderful read. Totally satisfying. We could identify with her overwhelming shyness, though fortunately none of us had experienced such feelings. Strongly recommended.
Not a great success for us - a couple of people loved it, but the rest didn't finish it.
CHCH 071
The book stimulated plenty of discussion - how much was biographical and how much was fictional Also the interesting issue of the outer world and her inner thoughts.
The writing was greatly admired, but there was too much introspection for several members.
WELL 213
5 of our group of 11 found this book unreadable, but those who did read it had lots of interesting observations - about paralytic shyness, self-absorption, the autobiographical nature of it, and the imagery.