Despite a bit of a slow start, Leighton’s Summer soon drew me in. This is the story of a young man with an unusual gift on the cusp of his sixteenth birthday. It is 1945, after the end of World War II. Leighton Cavendish, our young protagonist, is devastated to discover he must spend the summer of his sixteenth birthday away from London, an unexpected development for his summer fun hopes and dreams. Leighton’s parents have been called away, and he must spend the summer with his grandmother, in the town of Blackpool.
Once there, however, Leigh realises it may be more fun than he anticipated. Blackpool lies on the coast, and is a tourist area, which means lots of shiny shops, and a seaside boardwalk amusement park. Leigh finds new friends, some dubious, others less so, and even comes across a few more people with the same gifts he and many of his family have. He also manages to find trouble, when a friend is kidnapped and he must mount a daring rescue.
Leighton’s Summer, by K C Finn, was a good read, once it got going. Dialogue was believable and engaging. Even the least of the characters was rounded out. You learn little tidbits about each that make you feel for them, even Sid and Critch, two of the ‘dubious’ friends. My only qualm was a leaving off of commas where I expected them. An example (made up by me, not in the book): “Pass the bowl Gran.” instead of “Pass the bowl, Gran.” I soon learned to brush past it, and it didn’t take away from my reading enjoyment.