Published: Lightning Books (November 2018)

ISBN: 9781785630958

A Tangled Summer

Caroline Kington


A tale of barley, blackberries and some very bad behaviour

‘A wonderful, witty read’ – Woman’s Weekly

In the West Country village of Summerstoke, the family at Marsh Farm are too preoccupied with living their lives to notice the farm sliding into ruin.

Charlie Tucker dreams of victory in a motocross race, little sister Alison is determined to dispense with her virginity before the end of the summer, and their brother Stephen is hopelessly in love with the local am-dram star. Meanwhile mother Jenny dreams of escaping to Weston-super-Mare in the arms of the local vet.

Up on the hill in Summerstoke House, unscrupulous Hugh and Veronica Lester watch with undisguised pleasure. If they can get the Tuckers turfed off the land, their dreams of owning a bigger stud farm will become a reality.

And at Summerstoke Manor, in the heart of the village, the three elderly Miss Merfields and their ancient nanny have nothing better to do than pull strings and watch.






‘I have read the Summerstoke books with great pleasure. They are fascinating, funny and moving tales of a village. Having grown up in a village, and now living again in one, I can vouch for it being a glorious trilogy based firmly in reality. I recommend them heartily - they have given me hours of hugely enjoyable reading’

Stephanie Cole


‘A warm, funny, intriguing book full of the feel-good factor and beautifully observed characters’

The Lady

‘This first in a series about Summerstoke is a perfect holiday read’

Good Book Guide

‘…a perfect book to curl up with on a long winter’s evening – in fact on any season’s evening. Sparkling with life and wit, Kington tells a cracking story and creates characters that spring into life immediately, and stay in the memory long after the last page has been turned’


‘A wonderful, witty read’

Woman’s Weekly

‘There’s sex, booze and even some rock ’n’ roll – plus a cunning twist or two – in an entertaining, if melodramatic, plot’

Farmer’s Weekly

‘What a bumper dish this is!...An ideal read for dark nights and warm fires – one you won’t want to put down’

Coventry Telegraph

‘A warm and engaging debut novel that follows the twist and turns of life in the fictitious West Country village’

Choice (Time In)

‘This book has a real feel-good factor’




Caroline Kington

Caroline Kington spent most of her working life in theatre and television, as a director, producer and founder of the fringe theatre company Antidote Theatre.

Since the death of her husband Miles Kington, the columnist and broadcaster, she has posthumously published three of his books: a humorous memoir of his illness, called How Shall I Tell the Dog?; a collection of his columns and other writings, The Best By Miles; and a collection of his celebrated ‘Franglais’ columns that had not appeared in book form before, Le Bumper Book of Franglais.

In her own right, she is the author of the Summerstoke trilogy of rural comedies. She insists that no character in the series is based on anybody from the small village near Bath where she has lived for many years. Nobody believes her.

Her novel A Long Shadow had its origins in a feature she made for Channel 4 News at the turn of this century about the pressures on farmers as a result of BSE and foot-and-mouth disease.