The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel, is as beautifully surreal as a Dali Painting!
Which is perfect because Salvador Dali happens to be one of my favourite painters. Tiffany McDaniel has penned an exquisite novel about the summer of 1984, when Fielding Bliss makes friends with the Devil.
A rural town in Ohio is scorched with the hottest summer on record. A legal prosecutor with shaky faith, invites the Devil to visit. Shortly after, his son Fielding meets a battered 13-year-old black boy in overalls. The boy claims to be the Fallen Angel himself and explains to Fielding that he was invited.
Fielding assumes he is lost from a neighboring farm town and brings him home to his family. The boy asks to be called Sal, and the Bliss’ welcome him into their home and their hearts.
Not all of the town folk are as welcoming. Some downright hate that Sal is in their midst and the heat… the blazing, unrelenting heat is making people do things they wouldn’t normally do.
At times Sal appears to be a normal boy. Other times the most tragic, tortured soul in creation. The Bliss’ seesaw in thinking that Sal is just a troubled boy or is in fact the Devil. Not the horn wearing, pitch fork wielding kind, but the angel who fell from grace.
After a series of horrific events, the town’s people become convinced that Sal is Satan and he is responsible for every unexplained tragedy that befalls them. They don’t need a reason. Being black is enough cause. It may be 1984 but that summer, “the summer that melted everything”, it may as well be 1954.
Dear Mr. Devil, Sir Satan, Lucifer, and all other crosses you bear,
I cordially invite you to Breathed, Ohio. Land of hills and hay bales, of sinners and forgives.
May you come in peace.
With great faith,
It’s hard to put into words how much I enjoyed this story. The writing is spectacular and though this is Tiffany’s debut novel, it reads like it was written by a seasoned professional.
I don’t want to give too much away. The magic of The Summer That Melted Everything, is in the weaving of the tale, the myriad of details and how secrets are doled out piece by piece.
I will say that I loved this book! I felt like a wrung out sponge after reading it, feeling every emotion possible. Angry and repulsed one minute, bawling my eyes out the next.
In my humble opinion The Summer That Melted Everything is going to be hugely successful! After July 26th (Release Date), Tiffany’s star is going to soar and I feel truly privileged to be part of the select few that got to read this incredible book early.
Not only that, we are honored to have Tiffany do a guest Q & A for us at Booknista. Check it out, you’ll love her as much as we do.