EBook Review – The Summer We Lost Alice – Jan Strnad

The Summer We Lost AliceThis book spans the realms of young love, dreadful sorrow and supernatural forces. It is seen through the eyes of a young boy Ethan, who has been sent to spend the summer with his country cousins, he experiences the joy of first love and the depths of despair from loss. The writer pulls you into each emotion as if it were you experiencing it first hand, your mind is constantly challenged trying to work out how and why events are happening.

Razberry Rating: 



In the second half of the book, Ethan returns as an adult, after the horrifying events of his childhood seem once again, to be recurring. Here again his emotions are conflicted between reality and the supernatural, could the evil forces he believed in as a child, really exist?

The characters are as individual as the strange events in this book; I find I’m totally drawn into their lives, desperately needing to know what happened to Alice!


About the author….in his own words

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I studied writing in college under Jack Matthews (Hanger Stout, Awake!) and Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road). I began selling comic book stories in college, which I continued doing until my wife and I moved from our home town of Wichita, Kansas to Los Angeles where I joined the writing staff of Disney Television Animation. I wrote TV cartoons for fifteen years, writing for most of the Hollywood studios, including Sony/Columbia, Warner Bros., Universal, MGM and others before turning my attention to becoming a novelist.

My first published novel was Risen, a supernatural thriller, now out of print, which has been resurrected as an ebook. With my second novel, The Summer We Lost Alice, I went directly to self-publishing.

From where do you get your inspiration for your characters and storylines in your books?

My first two books drew heavily on my life in Kansas. My third book, in progress, will be the first one set in my adopted home of Los Angeles. Everyone I meet is likely to end up a character to some degree. As for the storylines, I don’t know where they come from. Just an overactive imagination, I guess.


What are your favourite books?

Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, for its biting satirical look at society, wrapped in an adventure story; Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon for the brilliance of the concept and the heartrending emotion; Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend as a chilling human drama about the end of the world as we know it; John Steinbeck’s The Winter of Our Discontent for the moral dilemmas it poses; P.G. Wodehouse’s stories for making me laugh; John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series, and most everything else MacDonald wrote, for demonstrating clearly that pop/pulp fiction can be literature. Those are the first that come to my mind.


What are the best and worst things about being a writer?

Best is the chance to explore the world from your chair, to get inside your mind and discover what you think about things, to meet new people by creating them.

Worst is that it’s long, lonely work that generally doesn’t pay well.


Tell us a little bit about your books, who they are aimed at, and where people can buy them.

They tend to center in some way on the afterlife, what it is, if it is, the good and the bad of it, and the role death plays in our lives, how it gives life meaning. Sounds morbid, but I also write with a lot of humor, which is the mechanism that lets us cope with life’s tragedies.

I don’t peg my target audience demographically because people are different and arrive at certain points in their lives at different times. When you start thinking, “What’s it all about?” you might want to check out my books.


Useful Links

Website: www.janstrnad.com

Amazon.com – The Summer We Lost Alice

Barnes and Noble – The Summer We Lost Alice