When nineteen year old Davey finds himself drunk, beaten and alone, he is rescued by the oddly-assorted inhabitants of an abandoned and beautiful house in the West Country. Their only condition for letting him join them is that he asks them no questions.
More than thirty years ago in that same house, burned-out rock star Jack Laker writes a ground-breaking comeback album, and abandons the girl who saved his life to embark on a doomed and passionate romance with a young actress. His attempt to escape his destructive lifestyle leads to deceit, debauchery and even murder.
As Davey and his fellow housemate Priss try to uncover the secrets of the house’s inhabitants, both past and present, it becomes clear that the five strangers have all been drawn there by the events and the music of that long-ago summer.
When I was little, my grandparents had a hotel in Cornwall. We spent every summer of my childhood there, and some of my earliest memories are of a huge magical house with a baffling layout and a surfeit of bedrooms, which felt like home, but which I could also get lost in.
The Summer We All Ran Away” began with scraps and bits of memories from these summers – filled with strangers and sunlight and long conversations in the kitchen, with tall stories from my grandparents of extraordinary characters living eccentric lives in either opulence or squalor, and which always turned out to be true. Those summers were like no other time in my life, and they’ve probably shaped my writing more than any other time or place.
If I was going to run away, Falmouth is where I’d run to. I hope the characters in “The Summer We All Ran Away” found it as magical a place as I always have.