This book is a Literary Guild, BOMC2 and Rhapsody Book Club Featured Alternate Selection for December 2011!
**Watch as author Susan McBride discusses my novel on her visit to the TV show "Great Day St. Louis" -- the link to the video clip is right HERE!!
Reviews and Praise for
"Brant’s newest...distinguishes itself with a charismatic leading man and very funny supporting cast, especially the wonderful elderly characters with their resonant message about living life to the fullest." ~ Publishers Weekly
"Marilyn Brant’s A Summer in Europe is a wonderful tale that captivates readers as Gwen, transformed by her surroundings, undergoes a change of heart about life…and love." ~ Doubleday Book Club
"Brant’s charming and engaging tale will allow readers to immerse themselves in the magic and beauty of Europe along with the characters. Although the descriptions of the scenery are amazing, the development of the characters and their unique personalities are what really make this novel shine. What an enjoyable escape!" ~ Melissa Parcel, Romantic Times Book Reviews, 4 Stars
"...there is something to be said for a life filled with unexpected surprises, especially if they come in the form of a sexy British physics professor named Emerson." ~ John Charles, Chicago Tribune
“How I wish I were on this European tour with Marilyn Brant's winsome, wonderful characters. I loved every minute of this delightful novel, from the breathtaking sights to the deliciously described food to the thrilling new experiences.” ~ Melissa Senate, bestselling author of The Love Goddess’ Cooking School and See Jane Date
"A Summer in Europe is Brant's best book yet. A thinking woman's love story, it swept me away to breathtaking places with a cast of endearing characters I won't soon forget. Bravissima!" ~ Susan McBride, author of Little Black Dress and The Cougar Club
“Marilyn Brant has done it again: she has crafted a warm and wise novel filled with characters that live on in your imagination. Make sure your passport is in order. After reading A Summer in Europe you’ll want to book your flight immediately!” ~ Laura Moore, author of Remember Me (The Rosewood Trilogy)
"A Summer in Europe is a love story told with grace, humor, and the finesse established and new Marilyn Brant readers will enjoy for years to come." ~ DA Kentner, The Readers' Writers
"This is a brilliant piece of contemporary literature, it’s timeless in its essence. Ms. Brant brings us a rather later that usual coming of age in this story of a woman who’s life has been ruled by loss and fear, then she gives us the hope that this new woman can come out of her chrysalis intact and ready to take on her whole new world. She does this with her customary prose like dialogue and a narrative that will take your breath away as she takes us through Europe that can vividly be seen in your mind’s eye. Her characters are superstars, every one of them...This is your first must read of December and you’ll want to share with the people who mean the most to you." ~ Debbie Haupt, The Reading Frenzy and B&N General Fiction Book Club moderator (also chosen as one of Deb Haupt's Best 20 Novels of 2011)
"Let me start by saying that I LOVED this book! ...Brant's writing is smart, quick-witted and her character development is swift and detailed." ~ Andrea, Great Thoughts (also chosen as part of the Great Thoughts Top Books of 2011 list)
"What an incredible journey! I truly love Marilyn Brant's style of writing – it's lyrical, descriptive, and magnetizing. Like a well-blended smoothie, Ms. Brant is always able to strike a perfect balance between the different components and elements of her story. Infusing travel, self-discovery, history, comedy, philosophy, psychology, and romance in her story, Ms. Brant capably whips together a tale that is as creamy and decadent as Italian gelato. I must mention how excessively I enjoyed ALL the characters of this book! Gwen is likable and endearing, Emerson is filled with a hefty dose of attractiveness, boyish charm, and complexity, Thoreau kept things interesting with his mind games and provocations, and Aunt Bea and all her sassy friends are just a hoot! Theses are the sort of characters I wouldn't mind spending more and more time with! If you are in the mood for a vibrant, flavorful, and stimulating European adventure, I suggest you pick up a copy of A Summer in Europe! Fans of E. M. Forster and Jane Austen will find much to delight in with this clever work of fiction. I highly recommend!"
~ Meredith, Austenesque Reviews, 5 Stars and the Winner of the 2012 Austenesque Award for "Favorite Non-Austenesque Novel"
"A Summer in Europe by Marilyn Brant is the perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter evening... Brant writes knowledgeably about the sights, smells and sounds of the places the tour visits. Her love of Europe oozes out of each and every page, and one can only hope that she took a long time researching this book by visiting them all!" ~ Pamela Kramer, National Book Examiner, 5 Stars
"I absolutely loved being transported to Europe and I felt as if I had the opportunity to live vicariously through the characters in this novel...I thought Ms. Brant did a wonderful job in bringing these attractions (both the big and small ones) to life. It is apparent to anyone who reads A Summer in Europe that the author not only has traveled to these places, but that she holds them near and dear to her heart. Another fun part of A Summer in Europe were the characters. Many of the people in the story were indeed "characters;" and I was became quite fond of them (all except for Gwen's stodgy boyfriend.) I adored Gwen's aunt and her very funny friends, and I appreciated how Ms. Brant portrayed many of the elderly characters. She made them very wise, but she also made them authentic...with real feelings and desires that individuals of any age could relate to... However, it was Gwen's personal growth that really made the story stand out to me. I always liked Gwen, but by the end of the novel, I loved her. Throughout the course of the story, Gwen managed to really begin to understand herself and her desires. She saw the world in a new light and I think she realized her place in it. Gwen's personal and spiritual journey were very uplifting and hopeful, and her story just made me feel happy." ~ Julie P., Booking Mama
"I've thoroughly enjoyed all of Brant’s books, but this is my favorite...what I loved most about the book is Brant’s prose. Her first book was According to Jane, in which the main character has Jane Austen giving her advice. Perhaps Brant channeled a bit of Jane herself. Her prose is Austen-like--observing, witty and charming--making this a joy to read." ~ Edie Ramer, author of Cattitude and Dragon Blues
"Marilyn Brant is a gifted writer who brings you to Europe. Really. Her descriptions engage the reader enough that the aroma of the regional cuisine will make you hungry. While visiting the sites, you’ll feel the charge of discovery and the gift of the experience. And through her characters, the author shares a love of life and its many experiences, showing the reader that sometimes we can accept what we have or find happiness elsewhere." ~ Eleanor Anders, Books...Looks and Takes
"A Summer in Europe, by Marilyn Brant, is a beautifully written story of a young woman's self-renaissance...The author's great love of Europe and her extensive travels there are evident in her delightful, irresistible descriptions of the beauty and bountiful offerings to be found throughout the European continent. The subtle, insightful way with which Marilyn Brant has crafted Gwen's story will make you feel as if you are experiencing everything right beside Gwen. You will breathe the air, inhale the intoxicating aromas, and be enchanted by the art and music and flow of languages. You will taste all the fantastic flavors of gelato, savor the linguine with meat sauce and the variety of quiches, and feel lust in your heart for the fabulous pastries and artisan chocolates... Like me, you may never see your travel dreams come to fruition, but thanks to Marilyn Brant, you will always have the pleasure of A Summer in Europe." ~ Virginia Campbell, writer, Romance at Random's "Fabulous Food & Fantastic Fiction"
"After enjoying Marilyn Brant's last two books, I was excited to read A Summer in Europe. I am happy to say her books just keep getting better. I was completely hooked as soon as I started reading and thoroughly enjoyed the evolution of Gwen, from a shy and reserved teacher to someone who, by the end of the book, has really come out of her shell and understands about living a passionate life. An extremely delightful and satisfying read." ~ Leah E. Krygowski, Chicklit Club, Rating 8/10
"This is a romantic book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's definitely one to recommend to your girlfriends!" ~ Karen, Practical Frugality
"This is a fabulous story of self-discovery, replete with awe-inspiring descriptions of historic places and unique ideas that spur the heroine from her comfort-zone into a new realization. Marilyn Brant has outdone herself this time. Highly recommended." ~ Gwynlyn Mackenzie, Goodreads
"This is a fun story about a woman's tour of Europe and exploring more of her life along with a chance at a new romance. This book is like taking a warm summer vacation without leaving your couch!" ~ Amy Phelps, Parkersburg News and Sentinel
"...this is a book full of incredibly rich language and beautiful layers of story. It's a story about relationships and families of many types and people who have chosen, or had chosen for them, different kinds of families. It's about epiphanies and those moments where we find ideas laying just ahead of us around the corner. It's about learning about life from the people around us and seeing the world through their eyes and knowing that your understanding is richer for it. It's about life and aging and questions of death. It's about food and travel and coming to terms with the 'shoulds' in our lives and making new plans for ourselves when we don't like the ones we've made. It's Gwen's journey but it's the journey of everyone in this story in some way and I think you'll find that it's your journey, too."
~ Stephanie Gurnsey Higgins
, Richmond Romance Novel Examiner
"If you've never read anything by Marilyn Brant before you need to! A Summer in Europe is another wonderful example of her talented writing skills. Marilyn grabbed my attention and kept me engaged throughout the novel. I didn't want to put it down. The story flows smoothly and effortlessly making it easy to read. My favorite aspect of this novel was the escape I felt while reading it. It's almost as if I was in southern Italy and on a much needed vacation! In short, this is a great story that engages the reader and leaves you wanting more from Marilyn! Her characters are charming and interesting. They come alive in your imagination due to Marilyn's ability to create well developed characteristics.You should read it and then check out her other novels!" ~ Tiffany, A Cozy Reader's Corner Reviews
"A Summer In Europe is an exceptional novel, to say the least… I was completely captivated, and couldn’t put it down. The characters are colorful different, and altogether, likeable. While reading--into all hours of the night--I felt like I was traveling through Europe myself, as I saw the sights, ate the food, and encountered many delights along the way. This fresh story, set in the most breathtaking and beautiful places of Europe, certainly is a page turner, charming, beautifully written, and realistic. A Summer in Europe by Marilyn Brant is a lovely story, and a must read!" ~ Julie, Chick Lit Girls
"Ah yes....I enjoyed the story whole-heartedly....take one part Tuscan sun with a life built from the ruins....shake violently and let the pieces fall where they may. The end results may not be perfect, but they are perfectly enjoyable leaving a story that will resonate with both women achieving their dreams now as well as those barely able to glimpse it for the forest standing before them. It's about life. It's about love. It's about taking the chances we are presented and making the most of the experience we gain. It's about every one of us at one time or another and therefore allows us to see just what can happen when the other shoe drops without someone in place to catch it; sometimes it ends in a clatter....other times, it nets us a prince. Recommended read for older teens through adult readers....it does get senseous a time or two but in a purely classy way. A book I know I'll be recommending time and again...and hopefully, you will be too." ~ GMR, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, First Review of the Year Award
"A Summer in Europe by Marilyn Brant is the perfect Holiday read...Gwen's story is all about appreciation. Appreciation of herself, her sometimes crazy family, of others (both good and bad), but mostly appreciation for every moment of life we are given. And that's something we all need to remember, because it's like Marilyn's book says, 'It's not where you go. It's about what you take back with you.' " ~ Jill Thomas, Just Around the Writer's Block
"From this opening paragraph, Brant's story has already prepared the reader for a trip with a cast of zany, intriguing and never boring characters... Brant really makes you feel as if you're in the moment with Gwen, her way with description is wonderful. A Summer in Europe is highly recommended. Lovely locales, interesting people, and a woman who learns about the fragility of time and life." ~ Reader Girls
"The strong cast (including European locations) provides an engaging coming of age contemporary tale. Character driven, readers will feel they are on tour with the S&M club enjoying the sights and the antics of Thoreau and especially Emerson. With homage to Andrew Lloyd Webber, E. M. Forester, and physics; Marilyn Brant writes an engaging tale of a woman who starts off chronologically as thirty, intellectually middle aged and experimentally a young teen." ~ Harriet Klausner, Mainstream Fiction
"If you ever wanted to take a tour of Europe and just never made it, this is the book for you to replace that urge. A Summer in Europe takes the reader for an insightful ride... I loved the book for the story but also for the descriptions of all the stops made along the tour. The way the author described each made me feel like I was there." ~ Kathleen Kelly, CelticLady's Reviews
"A Summer in Europe was truly an enjoyable novel. I found Brant’s storytelling supreme, her characters real, and Europe breathtaking. In addition to the lovable characters, it was the author’s picturesque language that had me experiencing Gwen’s awakening and Europe first hand. Brant’s ability to take the smallest details and tie them into the major themes and motifs, as well as her perfectly chosen descriptions, wove this story together like one of Zenia’s finely knitted scarves. I was not ready to say good-bye to my new friends or to unpack my bags and put away my passport. In doing so, it would mean my summer in Europe was over, and while entertaining and introspective, A Summer in Europe was a journey I did not want to end."
, Leatherbound Reviews
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for the book, too!)
“A Summer in Europe is an intelligent novel infused with lyrical prose. I don’t know how it’s possible for an author to cover so much in one story and execute it so well. Brant glides from one country to another and from one topic to the next so smoothly that the reader is able to grasp all the places and topics explored. The story is rich and full of details, it’s a book to be savored and re-read so you can get something new out of each reading experience." ~ Nicole Basaraba, Uni-Verse-City
"I enjoyed this book. It had all the things I liked about Mrs. Brant…humor, interesting characters, and a scenic location. I was laughing at the antics of Gwen’s Aunt’s S and M club... A Summer in Europe is a breathtaking trip that will have you wanting to book yourself another trip with Marilyn Brant as soon as possible!" ~ Cheryl, Cheryl's Book Nook
"As the winter weather takes hold, this is a great way for you to lose yourself in an adventure not only for the beauty of Europe, but the beauty of a great story." ~ Becky, Brodart Vibe
"A Summer in Europe is an armchair traveler’s dream come true. Brant describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Europe with incredible finesse and really brings her settings to life for the character. Her writing is really wonderful, and her descriptions and attention to detail leave the reader immersed in their imaginations. But Brant has a secondary message to those armchair travelers in her novel - leap at the chances life offers you. Budgets, schedules, and other difficulties in life can prevent us from seeing our dream destinations in person, but if the chance falls in your lap like it did into Gwendolyn’s, make the most of it...A Summer in Europe is an entertaining, breezy read that’s perfect for the summer. The lovely descriptions will feed your desire to travel, while also being incredibly satisfying."
~ Swapna Krishna
, S. Krishna's Books
"This is truly a well-written romance that beautifully proves that time is fluid, and that no matter what, you can ALWAYS start on a brand new chapter of your life and find your soul mate in the oddest of places. An invigorating and inspirational plot blended with humor, fun and romance - a perfect recipe!" ~ Amy Lignor, Goodreads
"Oh this book is like sitting in the sun in the middle of a Roman piazza while eating a big scoop of gelato. It's lovely and something to be savored...Sigh, this was so good; like a vacation in a book!" ~ Meg, A Bookish Affair, rating 4 1/2