“The past is always better than the present because it is more naive, more innocent and more playful. I wrote a novel about my childhood as I remember it. I think it resonated with the readers because they often comment that they too remembered their own childhood while reading. Nostalgia isn’t a bad thing if it doesn’t affect your present moment negatively.”

Ankica Tomić about her novel Especially in the Summer

Short synopsis:

Especially in the Summer is an autobiographical novel about growing up on an island, written from the point of view of a five-year-old girl who moves from Serbia to Pučišća on the island of Brač with her mother, father and older brother.

The plot is framed by two events: moving to the island and then moving away from it – but the heart of the novel is in between, in the images from the little girl’s everyday life; playing sometimes dangerous games with peers, falling in love for the first time, first fashion experiments, summerlong friendships, neighbours who stop by for a cup of coffee, plates which cannot be returned empty, shopping trips to Italy, school slippers, ninety days of swimming, younger brothers and sisters.

Tomić is focused on the child´s experience of the world during her formative years and emphasizes the positive and carefree aspect of it all.

Praise for Especially in the Summer:

Especially in the Summer, a novel with an interesting point of view and distinguished style, confirms that good stories are never out of literary fashion.

Julijana Matanović (from the book cover)

Especially in the Summer is a novel formed with interwoven sketches, stories and anecdotes, like a fine lace of memories and authentic images of growing up on an island. There is almost no plot, no classical conflict. It might remind us of a modern version of a pastoral. But a pastoral in which the reader can fully believe. That is, it can have a healing effect.

Zoran Ferić (from the book cover)

Ankica Tomić achieved one very important thing – she conveyed the emotion of light melancholy which is usually associated with the transience and uniqueness of certain moments, memories and impressions.

Jagna Pogačnik, Jutarnji list

Ah, love… that is the greatest asset of Ankica’s novel – not only does it hold together the scattered memories and connects them into a meaningful, intimate and boldly humorous story, but it is also the magic ingredient that emotionally connects readers with the Tomić family, as if they were their own family… Especially in the Summer, with its nostalgia, is as healing as a good homemade soup when we have a cold or as the gentle embrace of mother when we are scared. A must read!

Tanja Tolić, najboljeknjige.com

Behind the naiveté seen at first glance in her novel, there is a mosaic of historical context and a kind of “lexicon of Croatian and Yugoslav mythology”… Politics, so present in contemporary Croatian fiction, is merely a subject of joke here but without the desire to analyse its epochal (non)sense… Judging Tomić’s first novel, we can’t wait for the next. Hopefully even the tenth!

Željko Valentić, Forum

About the author:

Ankica Tomić was born in Makarska in 1972. She taught Croatian language and literature to elementary and high school students and worked as a proofreader for some of the most influential daily and weekly newspapers and magazines. Tomić writes book reviews, short stories and prose. She lives and works in Zagreb.

Other works: Damen kapric, 2014

Awards, selection: The Slavić Award for best first book, 2012; The Kiklop Award for best debut novel, 2012

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