A Summer to Die Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Summer to Die

This is the story about a girl whose parents have relocated the family to the country for a time, and she must come to terms with her new environment while growing closer to her sister through forced circumstances and discovering her true path in life and school. Meg Chalmer's life is in shambles when he parents tell her and her sister, Molly, that they are closing their home and moving to country for a year. Meg must now readjust to the new surroundings and figure out her role in the new setting both in school and even in life while trying to get to know her sister a bit better. This is a problem for Meg because she is quite shy and more reserved while Molly always plays the popular kid in school and at home. On the other hand, both of the girls are not happy they will have to leave their home for another place where they have to start over. The silver lining is that the family will be there for a year. Charles Chalmer, who is a university professor was provided the year to finish the book he was writing hence, the relocation.
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Molly is the typical personality of a perfectionist and a homemaker. She is very neat while Meg is sloppy. Molly wants to have up to 6 children and marry young while her sister has not even thought of marriage in the first place. Molly does not care for Meg's messy personality and draws a chalk line in their bedroom to separate their spheres of influence. Meg on the other hand, is interested in photography, or art or being a writer. Molly also supports her in these enterprises. Molly gets new found popularity at school with ease and even lands a cute boyfriend. Meg just gets the nickname ‘nutmeg'. One day Meg meets an old man named Will Banks who owns the land and after spending some time with him, gets him interested in photography.

There is a young couple; Ben and Maria who come in to rent the land and they befriend the two sisters especially since they are expecting a baby at the time. Molly is very happy for them especially because she likes babies. Unfortunately, Molly becomes sick during winter and nosebleeds a lot. They do not stop and she makes frequent visits to the hospital. However, she does not respond to medication. When she returns home, she is thinner and her blonde hair is falling out. Meg always assumes that she will be okay but her parents do not tell her the truth. One day Molly goes to the hospital and does not return ever. On the other hand, Ben and Maria's baby is born and Meg gets to photograph the process. And hold it in the first moments. Will also likes photography so much that the photos feature in an exhibit after attaining certain talent. The last scene features Meg walking with Will through the forest and her wishing that Molly could be there. Will shows her a flower that seems to be the last flower to bloom in the season as a dedication to her because she is also one of the late bloomers.
Best part of story, including ending: I liked this story because it is symbolic of people that take their time to find their way in life. as such, life is not a race because people find their way in their time.

Best scene in story: I like the scene in chapter 10 where Charles and Meg go to Ben's house to find that Maria is in labor and Ben is panicking. During his state of fear and excitement, he has forgotten everything he knows about childbirth even though his wife is screaming the whole time. It was very humorous the way that Ben reacted to the situation and quite endearing.

Opinion about the main character: I like that Meg is able to go through all of the criticisms even by her sister and at school to find her true calling and to let none of it sidetrack her in the end.

The review of this Book prepared by Nicholas Waithaka a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of A Summer to Die

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   very sensitive (sigh) Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Sister Family, caring for ill    -   Yes Who is sick?    -   Sister because he/she is    -   physically ill Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Age 11-14

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


United States    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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