“Dear Mr. Devil, Sir Satan, Lord Lucifer, and all other crosses you bear,
I cordially invite you to Breathed, Ohio. Land of hills and hay bales, of sinners and forgivers.
May you come in peace.
With great faith,
Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.
Sal seems to appear out of nowhere - a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he's welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he's a runaway from a nearby farm town.
When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.
I was given this book by the author Tiffany McDaniel, who also gave me the pleasure of interview, in exchange for an honest review. Please do not be filled by the sweet melting crayon’s on this book cove, it is not an young adult book. Oh no, I was fooled too, this book is an amazing compilation of creative consciousness, witty characters, clever character names, and issues in society that need a voice to speak about them in a different light.This book is the type of novel that I’m sure all fans of the Addams Family would enjoy. Did I mention that the devil is in this novel? Oh I mean the actual devil not a character that is s o o o o bad that he could be the devil, I mean the one in only.
The story begins in the year of 1984, a year my siblings would remind me I was not born in, however that might be a good thing.
I will say that 1984 was a year that understood how to make history. Apple launched it’s Macintosh computer for the masses, two astronauts walked the stars like gods, and singer Marvin Gaye, who sang about how sweet it was to be loved, was shot through the heart and killed by his father .
Our protagonist, Fielding Bliss’s. father actually invites the devil into a small town in Ohio. A thirteen year old Fielding, at the time is telling the story of his attorney father Autopsy, yes I swear that is actually his name, is down on different direction on a case that its truly turning into something more. The really unique thing about this book events is that the actually devil makes an appearances. Usually you only see, or hear, about the actual Devil showing up when their’s a musician in need of a bargain. Nope, not in McDaniel’s novel, he actually shows up when requested. Almost like the miracle of Netflix account, I never remember paying it, but by the gods it’s there when nothing else on t.v. will cure me of t.v. border!
The devil within physical appearance is stunning, a thirteen year old boy, (possible a runaway, mind you), with his dark skin and souvenir green eyes, from two leaves form the Garden of Eden. The adorable thing about the devil, is that he appears in worn out overalls, and a bowl ready for ice cream. Ahhh, instantly I was team Devil for the win. How adorable is that? You just came out from the hottest part of all the worlds, and of course he wants ice cream! I thought that was a really clever way McDaniel created, and instant connection between readers and this Biblical character within her book. Honestly? How can’t relate to wanting a nice bowl of ice cream on a hot day!
While the devil is in town he brings with him a heat way that practically scorches the little town. Hatred is growing in the town, the heat is unbearable. Despite the heat there is a real connection in this book that cannot be ignore. Going by the name Sal, our devilish characters is living in the home of our protagonist while the Sheriff tries to reunite Sal’s family, believing him to be a runaway. As the summer connives Sal, starts living with Fielding and his family debuting my favorite character, Fielding’s older brother Grand.
“Something about his eyes made me think of Russia. Perhaps because they were so large, the largest country in the world of his face. Then again, knowing what I know now, maybe it was because his eyes were so like matryoshka dolls, hiding the real him within boxes of lacquered mystery. You’d open one box and find another just the same. No matter how many boxes you took away, there was always one more.
Because I told him his eyes were Russian, he decided to learn the language and would at the most unexpected times drop Russian words in a saline accent Tolstoy would have praised, for an Ohioan at least.”
How can you not fall in love with great connection of siblings! I love how this book showcases the love between siblings. My siblings are years *cough* decades, apart from me, so I am sucker for books that showcase what close knit siblings look like, even during this extreme situations. The whole family is a truly incredibly intimate, leaving me hugging on to my eReader when I was lost for words.
The intimate connection of family that Fielding showcases is only parallel to the on going heat wave of hatred and tension that appears in the town while the Devil . . .I mean Sal continues to stay. People in town are revealing their inner personal demons, which means common senses is starting to melt away faster that Sal’s ice cream!
“People always ask, Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow a child to be beaten? A woman to cry? A holocaust to happen? A good dog to die painfully? Simple truth is, He wants to see for Himself what we’ll do. He’s stood up the candle, put the devil at the wick, and now He wants to see if we blow it out or let it burn down. God is suffering’s biggest spectator.”
Honestly I could go on about this book for ever!
I am trying really hard to write a proper review, because all I want to write is
OMG.O>M>G OOOOOOOs MMS Geeeses!
Book is so good
OOH SO DAG GOOD YALL
Please read it now!
Tiffany McDaniel is a debuting author from St. Martin’s Press. She is an amazingly talented author, who I believe has much more stories to tell us. I’m truly excited to see what other stories, her creatively unique mind has in store for her fans.
The Summer that Melted Everything is a well crafted novel that deserve it’s due. It’s well written, well composed, and well needed! I never read a book like it, I’m sure their isn’t going to be book like it for years to come. I can honestly see this book being a classic in it’s own right! Did I mention it’s really good? Did I mention the great contemporary elements of the novel, follow by the great character reveal, character development, great sibling connection. Did I mention the great word plays on names? Just a hint, you might want to keep Google Translator on you’re phone ready because some characters are truly more than what they seem! This book is amazing, I really hope I inspired you to read it!
The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel is available today! July 26th 2016! Please pick it up today!
While you’re reading it make sure you buy some ice cream too! You never know when someone might summon the . . . devil in you’re town!