See You In September by Charity Norman is a contemporary novel told by Cassy and her mother Diana.
Cassy takes a break from university studies to go travelling around New Zealand with her boyfriend Hamish. They plan to be back in the UK for Cassy’s best friend’s wedding in September, hence the title. They haven’t been gone long when circumstances cause them to go their separate ways. Cassy is drenched and fed up whilst trying to hitch them both a ride, but instead takes a lift from a group of very friendly people in a beat up old van. They’re from a farming collective living self sufficiently off the land in a beautiful valley only approachable by boat.
It’s all idyllic and seems the perfect place to spend the rest of her break before returning home for the wedding. The community are so positive and loving completely different to her stressed out life and planned future faraway in London.
So begins this absorbing read that took me on an incredible journey with Cassy in New Zealand and her family back in London. The story from Cassy’s point of view and her mother Diana is also interspersed with extracts from a cult leaders manual with the steps to get your recruit fully on board with the cults beliefs.
I was hooked from the first page as the author took me on an gripping journey with Cassy and her family. The setting of the community was idyllic, and I even though it’s a fictional community I could see why Cassy was drawn to it. The descriptions of the farm along with the initial acceptance and positivity from the members sounded the perfect place to escape modern life and it’s technological entrapments.
As a mother of a teenager I really felt for Cassy’s family back home in London and completely sympathised with their fears and desires to rescue her. They felt like a real family who only wanted the best for their daughter before it was all too late.
This is my first book by this author but definitely not my last. I’ll be recommending this to family and friends on my blog and social media.