Laurie Hertzel @ StarTribune books
This riveting story unspools in a most satisfactory way… the plot is a fascinating blend of prosaic everyday life and magical realism. Read more
Laura @ Radiator Tunes
An absolutely incredible novel…The Summer of the Bear is not to be missed. Read more
Cesca Martin @ www.novelicious.com
The Summer of the Bear is heavy with atmosphere and tension. The plot is compelling and believable and the characters are marvellously drawn. Read more
No Charge Bookbunch
More than a mystery or an examination of family relationships and loyalties. Read more
…beautifully written and characterised and I completely lost myself in it. Read more
A gentle, haunting tale and highly recommended. Read more
I’ve just finished Summer of the Bear. I just wanted to write to you to thank you for creating such a magical story and with such wonderful characters. I’m getting on a bit now and I’ve read hundreds of novels, but I have to say I’m struggling to think of a novel I’ve loved as much as this – Thank you.
I loved this book not least because as a child of a hebridean father I gre up with these people on summer holidays as a child and as a teenager. My grandfather was Angus Mackenzie of Tigharry a great friend of Roddy Ferguson and my father Angus Alec a great friend of Angus Ferguson and Angus Post Office.And I remember as a teenager the summer of the bear. You have captured the essence of these wonderful warm hearted and uniquue characters. It was half way through the book I clicked you must be Arabella Pollen I presume, never hac=ving met you I knew of the Pollens in the ‘big house’.
Thank you for a lovely story which I will treasure forever. My father now sadly long deceased would have loved the people he loved being recognised for prosperity in this way.
By Anna Barnett – From Amazon.co.uk
What a wonderful read! In ` The Summer of The Bear’, Bella Pollen makes use of authentic setting to develop a gripping plot, embracing thriller elements, shivers of The Cold War, family grief and teenage angst. Only someone with real knowledge of North Uist, its moods and elements could have captured the essence of the island so effectively, only someone who has lived in our community and been a part of it, could portray the characters so accurately and sensitively. Neighbours and friends in this corner of the island come to life through the pages of this novel! My one regret is that my lifelong friend, Rody, rabbit-catcher, purveyor of second hand furniture and spinner of ghostly tales is no longer alive to enjoy this mixture of fantasy and realism. He would have been so proud to be included in this tale of the bear. The parting reference to The Ministry of Defence suppressing a report on contamination at the rocket range in South Uist leaves us with much food for thought.
Book Club panel in Woman’s Own magazine
‘A fantastic and intriguing read’
‘..very poignant. I was spellbound…loved how it flowed seamlessly’
‘A remarkable book’
Angela – Just finished your book ‘Summer of the Bear’ and loved it. As well as having family on North Uist and Harris, we have spent holidays in this magical area too. I also remember Hercules the bear from my childhood, as my dad used to take us to the inn at Sherrifmuir. We stayed in the car while dad had a pint and then brought us lemonade and an advocat for mum. Such memories. Thank you for bringing them back to me. A wonderful story.
BFK Books – Bella Pollen expertly produces a feel-good factor at the end of a harrowing book. Read more
Jenclair – My favorite book so far this year… Superbly written and masterfully plotted, Bella Pollen has completely captured me with The Summer of the Bear. Read more…
Fluidity of time - Lyrical. Haunting. Provocative. Read more…
Bookfool - A captivating, suspenseful, magical, near-perfect read… The Summer of the Bear is a genuinely suspenseful, emotional story. Read more…
Dr. Susan Hedahl - This is a lyrical, uncanny and energetic novel. Pollen’s writing style is unique. Read more…
Lit Chick - Pollen captures the feeling of summer – the idleness and petty irritations of too much togetherness – and mixes it about with glorious characters and a bit of suspense. Read more…
Louise Laurie – Terrific, feel-good factor stuff. I would happily have read pages and pages of the islanders and their various antics. At one stage I laughed out loud. Read more…
Jennie Turner-Collins – Letty has traveled with her three children from Europe to take refuge on an island in the Outer Hebrides after her husband’s suicide at the same moment that a tame bear has made his bid for freedom. Coming back to a simpler place, stripped of false sophistication, the islanders are bluntly unique, their individualism magnified by the starkness of their surroundings. This is a magical book, interweaving the inner turmoil of the Fleming family with the struggle of the escaped bear to survive. A wonderful summer read!
Red Ferry’s review - Read it in ONE day-could not put it down. Read more…
Katy Budget Books’s reviews – This is the perfect summer read! If Oprah hasn’t put it on her summer reading list then I am shocked. Read more…
Nicki Marcus – This was a wonderful book from start to finish. Bella Pollen has managed to give each of the characters a truly distinctive voice, making them so real and engaging that the reader cannot help but empathize with each and every one of them as they tell their stories and offer their views on events. Read more…
Lee Libro – The Summer of the Bear carried me to the depths of each character’s experience from the youngest child, the innocent Jamie, who, to an endearing fault, perceives the world literally at face value; to his older sisters, one toughened and prickly to deflect her emotions, the other withdrawn, to nurture them; to his mother, Letitia, brave yet retreating into reticence, the kind of silence that speaks loudly to children. Read more…
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