Under A Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Borrowed, Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Under A Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye | Audiobook ReviewUnder a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye
Narrator: Karen Chilton
Length: 11 Hours 32 Minutes
on June 9, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Historical
Pages: 400
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Borrowed, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781492612513

Under a Dark Summer Sky is a stunning debut novel, at once a love story set in a time of great turmoil and a vivid depiction a vicious hurricane.

Florida, 1935. In Heron Key, relationships are as tangled as the swamp's mangrove roots. It's been eighteen long years since Henry went away to war. Still, Missy has waited, cleaning the Kincaids' house and counting the stars. Now he's back, but she barely recognizes the desperate, destitute veteran he's become — unsure of his future, ashamed of his past. When a white woman is found beaten nearly to death after the Fourth of July barbecue, suspicion falls on him immediately. As tensions rise in the small community, the barometer starts to plummet — a massive hurricane is on its way.

Based on real historical events,Under a Dark Summer Sky evokes what happens when people, sweating under the weight of their pasts, are tested to the absolute limits of their endurance.

Why Did I Listen To Under A Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye?

It kind of seems fitting that during summertime I would read a book with “summer” in the title. However, in all reality, I went for Under A Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye on Scribd because I hadn’t read a historical fiction in a while. And yes, the fact that it is on my Netgalley queue is a huge motivator. The comparisons to The Help and to The Perfect Storm also appeal to me.

What’s The Story Here?

So, I seem to be getting sucked into stories with multiple main characters over and over lately. Under A Dark Summer Sky follows the residents of Huron Key which is in Florida (part of the keys) during 1935 when one of the most major hurricanes ever hits. The book opens on this wild note. Missy, a nanny who is African American, nearly loses the infant in her care to an alligator but then he’s saved by a blast from her past, Henry.

This sort of sets a number of events into motion. Namely, the mother of the infant, Hilda, is beaten very very badly at this Fourth of July party. No one knows who did it. However, the people in town blame Henry who is an African American veteran. Meanwhile, there’s this cop, Dwayne who is married with a wife and son. Only, Dwayne is white, his wife is white, but his son is biracial.

Anyways, amid these tensions, comes the hurricane. OH and also, the town has a camp of veterans who are doing work. The locals aren’t huge fans of the veterans because they’re kind of rowdy. So, yeah, a whole lot of compelling story is about to go down. And well, Lafaye handles all of this deftly.

How Did I Like Under A Dark Summer Sky?

Ya know what? I was TOTALLY absorbed and under the spell of Under A Dark Summer Sky. It was so different from what I’ve been listening to. I feel like I am really valuing that right now – variety. Anyways, there’s a big cast of characters and I felt like I got a good sense of those characters. I know in another review I was complaining about a book with a lot of main characters. However, it turns out, it works well for Lafaye. It seems like there’s a lot of ground and perspectives we are able to cover.

Also, you guys I was invested and on edge. Especially for the parts with Nathan, the baby. FYI he lives and makes it to the end. I say that spoiler because if you’re like me you’ll want to know that going in.

How’s The Narration?

The audiobook is narrated by Karen Chilton. She’s a new to me narrator. However, her voice is perfect for this Florida-set book. I never was zoned out or bored by her. Heck, I was HANGING on edge. I think for sure Under A Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye is an under the radar audiobook you need to read – especially those of you who like historical fiction about weather with intersectional elements.

Other reviews of Under A Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye:

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Thanks for the shoutout to my review. I appreciate it. I loved this book and I am so glad you enjoyed it too. I think it’s the perfect historical “beach read” and I loved the FL Keys setting. Great review, April!


  1. […] I did not make it a priority because of all these other competing interests. The moment I saw this audiobook available on Scribd though, I got super excited. So, I listened to it because I am trying to whittle down my eARCs but […]

  2. […] out of the ordinary for what I typically read, listen to, and review. I mean, yes, I do listen to historical fiction sometimes. However, I never ever listen to historical fiction set during the dawn of human […]

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