Monday, May 11, 2009

Shadowed Summer ~ Saundra Mitchell


Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?

Three words... "Where y'at, Iris?" & so the chilling Shadowed Summer begins.

Welcome to the world of Southern Gothic...

Saundra Mitchell is quite a gifted storyteller. She knows how to transport a reader with her lush descriptive dialogue. I was tempted to reach for a cube of ice to trace it over my overheated sun kissed skin.

I may reside in New York, but I definitely migrated to Ondine, Louisiana every time I opened the wickedly delectable Shadowed Summer.

A parching Louisiana summer so cloying & gritty, I wanted to stroll down to the Red Stripe for a frosty mug of A&W Root Beer® & a Good Humor Lemonade Freeze®.

If you like a creepy, good ghost story Shadowed Summer is definitely it, but it goes beyond "good". Shadowed Summer is an impressive standout.

Saundra Mitchell has created an exceptional character in Iris Rhame. Iris is a 14-year-old young lady who isn't in a rush to become an adult.

Iris is what a 14-year-old is supposed to be herself. Iris is on the cusp of leaving behind her childhood years to grow into the woman she will become as each year progresses.

Saundra did a stellar job making Iris a bona fide 14-year-old growing up in a small rural Southern town.

Not to knock someone's upbringing, but there are different regions in the United States & Saundra hit the jackpot w/ the nuisances of life in the South.

Bravo to Ms. Mitchell for capturing Louisiana life post Katrina. She deserves accolades for that nugget alone. Thank you, Ms. Mitchell, for writing it w/ class & panache.

Shadowed Summer is more than just your "typical" ghost story. It weaves a tapestry of buried secrets, superstitions, friendships & growing up.

It explores the friendship between Iris & Collette from childhood to girlhood. It is a realistic look @ the depth of their friendship as they traverse the tumultuous ride known as adolescence.

There were times I wanted to smack Collette. Grrr... Saundra described everything w/ exact detail I felt like I was Iris.

I was a lot like Iris & my best friend, Cami ~ who was like my sister ~ was Collette. Big time!

She was on the verge of thirtysomething @ 14. I was still into dreaming, riding my bike, reading & just being a kid.

Cami was into the eye gunk, lip stuff & mixing it up w/ boys. Even when I was modeling, I wasn't boy crazy or into the gunk. I just wanted to laze in the sultry Long Island sun & get lost in my books & imagination.

Shadowed Summer is an absorbing read w/ an unprecedented twist.

The cemetery scenes were ghoulish. Loved it!!!

The Southern dialect was spot on. I really felt the broiling Louisiana sun on my bronze skin. I wanted to attend a local Louisiana Swamp Thing &/or Crawfish Festival because Saundra's writing was so intrinsic. Which is funny because I don't do fish or any "swap" thing.

Saundra's writing just took me there. I was blistering in the heat & chilled from the gruesome goodness.

All of the characters are well written. Ben Duvall is not just an immature boy tossed in as a diversion. He is well fleshed. Enjoyable.

Shadowed Summer has enough suspense to keep you on edge. Go ahead... keep your light on.

Want to know about "The Incident with the Landry Boy"?

Grab a copy of Shadowed Summer @

Barnes & Noble


It is definitely a top-notch read not to be missed.

Check out Sandra's

P.S. The only thing I dislike about Shadowed Summer is the cover model ~ it definitely wasn't Iris as I pictured her.

I hope the paperback cover will be entirely different. It has a more gothic feel if you cover the model's face.

Slip the cover off & get lost in the sensational story Sandra Mitchell has created in Shadowed Summer.


  1. Oh very cool! I vaguely remember hearing about this. I may have to see if I can find it at my library. I've always lived in the south and though I've only been to Louisiana once, it's certainly a place that stays with you.

  2. Oh, Ladytink, this was truly a gripping gothic. Think she has started Southern Gothic!!!