Book Club: Summer of Blue by Saumya Balsari

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Milly’s brother is missing and presumed dead in Afghanistan but she refuses to give up faith and believes he is still alive.

When she turns 17 in the summer, she begins to write a journal and makes three wishes, hoping that they come true by her 18th birthday.

Her wishes are to get her brother Neel safely home, get into Cambridge University and get a boyfriend. But life is anything but predictable.

Of Indian origin, Milly lives with her family in Cambridge. She is at sixth form and pressure mounts as her Cambridge application looms large and the summer triggers misfortunes and tensions.

Milly’s father loses his job, her mother falls ill and her younger brother is bullied at school.

Milly desperately needs a strong shoulder but is reluctant to let Paris, a bumbling fellow sixth former, into her world. He isn’t boyfriend material and it doesn’t look promising with Dominic, Shaw or Jason, either.

How are her three wishes going to come true?

Milly then begins to suffer recurring nightmares about a captive British soldier in Afghanistan and records her disturbing dreams in her journal. Could they have anything to do with her brother Neel?

‘Summer of Blue’ is the second novel from author Saumya Balsari.

It is set among the spires of Cambridge, sunny Mumbai and the shadows of war-torn Afghanistan and is an off-beat narrative of love, loss and longing – a story of teenage angst and the pressures of modern life.

‘Summer of Blue’ is available from all major retailers and e-retailers.