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Category: Book Reviews

Summer Pine

A new novel released in July 2003 and titled Summer Pine is an acutely poignant novel that borders controversy.

A love; a separation; fifteen years of pining; and then a new hope for closure. The novel combines an unusual tenderness between a man and a boy with the common natures inherent in an enlightened society: love and hate, joy and sorrow, celebration and grieving.
Set in South Africa, the novel was written in a manner reflecting the pensive and emotional progression of Devon, the main character, as well as those of the two boys, Chase and Keagan.
Mourning the loss of Chase fifteen years ago, the story unfolds as Devon recalls certain events in his past as an attempt to face his tragic history. Spurred on in this endeavour by the arrival of little Keagan, the plot evolves from one of grief and depression, into one of acceptance, of closure, and ultimately of celebration. The story takes you through the entire spectrum of human emotion, from the darkest sadness to the lightest joy.

Written in varying and diverse styles, the author contrasts a simple and plain style of writing with one more complex and thoughtful, reminiscently Shakespearean, and each style becomes apparent as being representative of an emotion. Juxtaposing these differing styles not only draws the reader into the characters specific emotions, but they also entice the reader to become more involved in the complexity of the story. This novel is successful in accurately depicting the progression of thought and feeling when dealing with loss, and the victory over past injustice.

Thomas Matthews has transcended the usual works of literary fiction with Summer Pine. He submerges the reader into a revolutionary clarity of the mind and soul of the characters, and has created lifelike personalities, evocative atmosphere, and a compelling storyline. This is definitely a novel that will become a favourite classic in many literary collections the world over.

The book is available from Lulu Press: http://www.lulu.com/content/10388

Submitted by Patrick, posted on Friday August 15, @02:30AM

Re: Summer Pine

Hi
I am writing this note to inform people of the truth behind the novel, "Summer Pine". The book is completely deceiving! The book should no longer be sold or even talked about! The author, "Thomas Matthews" is non-existent, he is a character, created by the real author, David Van Niekerk. The truth about him was recently exposed, here in South Africa. The "boys" in the story are also real characters in real life, but those are not their real names. David is a child molester and is currently sitting in jail, awaiting his trial!!! The boy on the cover of the novel was molested by him, from the age of 3!! David has kept this a secret sooo well, even his best friends and roommate had no idea what was behind his lying eyes! His room was full of bags of pictures of little boys! It came as a shock to us all, but it is true! None of us even knew that David had written a novel. He has molested many boys in the area and admitted to six of them, I know some of them and that is why I am writing this! Please donot buy the book and support such a person! Although there is no word of abuse in his novel, secretly, that is what the book is about. Summer Pine is the juice the boy always used to drink. David had a way with all the boys and that is why they developed some kind of trust in him and let him do what he did. He was exposed by a little boy recently, the boy lived in the same complex as David and complained to his mother that David was hurting him in certain areas, I do not wish to say! The point is, he is a sick man!!! Do not buy the novel, in fact, put it out of print!

by Truth on Sunday November 07, @11:43PM

Re: Summer Pine

Dear Truth

Is this David van Niekerk, of Edenvale, an auditor/ accountant by profession?

by Bob on Saturday November 13, @01:15AM

Occupation

I do believe he is an accountant. Or was or whatever.

by Jim on Monday November 15, @12:43AM

Re: Summer Pine

I represent the company that "Thomas Matthews" used to publish and distribute his book: Lulu. The moment the allegations concerning this author came to our attention (11/15/04), we removed the book from our site and cancelled the author's account. We are working with all the retailers --Amazon, BN.com, and others-- where the book has been available to make sure the book, and its cover, are removed from their sites as soon as possible. We only wish that we had known something more about the situation sooner.

Lulu is not a publisher. Lulu provides the means for individuals to publish and distribute books much in the way that eBay allows individuals to sell products. Like eBay, we rely largely on our community of users to alert us when there are questions of any sort about the appropriateness or legality of a book or other piece of content. When we are made aware of questions, our first response is to remove the content in question from our site. Rest assured that this author will not sell another copy of his book.

Regards,
Stephen Fraser
Communications Director, Lulu.com

by Stephen Fraser on Tuesday November 16, @05:49AM

Re: Summer Pine

Thank you for informing me about this. I'm glad I found this before I supported this novel and the author.

I was also wondering why B&N didn't have the novel on its website.

And I'd also like to say that Lulu should also get in contact with Powell's about this information.

by Samantha on Wednesday November 17, @04:57PM

Re: Summer Pine

Sorry about that. Powell's website and contact information...

http://www.powells.com/info/contact.html

by Samantha on Wednesday November 17, @05:00PM

Re: Summer Pine

Having read these comments, I think I will now buy this book.

I wouldn't normally have bothered, but since some people have decided that neither I, nor anyone else, should be able to read it, I refuse to give them the right to decide what I should read.

If the publishers believe that the author, as a convicted criminal, should not profit, then give the takings to charity. How about an organisation that helps abused and homeless children?

by Peter Marshall on Saturday November 27, @09:44AM

Re: Summer Pine

"I refuse to give them the right to decide what I should read."

I couldn't agree with you more, Peter. But also, as a psychologist specializing in the treatment of sexually abused (and sexually abusive) boys, I feel that this sort of fascist book-banning prevents the understanding of sexual abuse, rather than condemning or prohibiting these behaviors. It is imperative to consider the abuse from the perspective of the perpetrator (which this book seems to do quite well, considering the above posts) if he or she is to benefit from treatment. I, too, will be buying this book now.

by Tom on Wednesday December 08, @11:40PM

Re: Summer Pine

I actually bought the book before they took it out of every bookseller web site out there. I have read it and find it profoundly inspiring and moving. It's a book every single people in this planet should read and hopefully they would be able to grasp a bit of how sick and full of prejudice we are becoming. We are moving to a point where if a father hugs a son a little bit more than what is *considered* appropriate then this is sufficient reason to separate or to judge them. Are we going to allow this to happen to our world???

I was rather shocked by the news about the author, no matter what the truth really is, he must assume the responsability for it. But if we were to condemn his writings solely based upon something he did wrong (if this is not any more thing about prejudice from the society) and ban his book forever, we better ban the whole world of books that were ever written for somebody that ever commited a crime...

IMHO this book must be read an be made available to the public... regardless of what the author has done... it is a work of art. It does not condone or promote anything wrong at all. Not a single sentence. On the contrary, it enlightens and brings comprehension to people. It is a shame that on 21th century we are still dealing with this kind of prejudice and censorship.

by Robson Mattos on Wednesday March 16, @09:55AM

Re: Summer Pine

The people that want to still buy this book do not understand the damage that David Van Niekerk has done. These kids and there families will have to deal with the damage he has done and these kids will need councelling and help throughout there lives. How would you feel if you knew your child was abused from the age of 2 for two years by an adult- Like David and then he wrote a book about it. Making money off it! It may seem like an innocent book but I know this man and he is very clever and he does not understand loving a little boy in a sexual way is inappproriate. We are not talking about a love like between a father and son. A pure love.

As a parent now , you have to deal with the damage it has done to your son and the only justice David gets is go to jail for a year and then get out again and abuse more children. He is not a one time offender, he has done this several times, I saw the evidence, he had several photos of other childern and trust me he is going to do this again. You do not know what this man did to these children. People that will support him by buying his book (knowing the true story behind this), is like supporting child abuse. You are saying what he has done is right. You will never know what it is like until it is one of your children and you will never know how it feels to be abused by one of these types of people until it happens to you and I hope it never does. I believe in forgiving and yes I am grateful he got one year but I fear that he will abuse again and you supporting this book, support his beliefs that this love is appropriate and will fund him to live a wonderful life on these beliefs and actions. The families pay for endless therapy bills, children battling with internal conflict which you can not place a price on and the one thing we ask from people is to not stand for this type of chile abuse, especially if this is written as a beautiful story when in actual fact is was a story about a man who was in love with a 2/3 year old and tried to perform unspeakable sexual acts upon this child. I know today this child battles with undertstanding what is appropriate and not because of David Van Niekerk. This is just one of the children that he abused. Why should he benefit from this tragic story? This inapproriate act? When the children and the families suffer..Sounds like injustice to me.

by Another Truth on Friday May 18, @01:24AM

Re: Summer Pine

Have some compassion and understand for the family of the abused little boy, that David used an actual picture of this little boy, and as a parent , try to imagine how hard it is to look at that picture on the book , knowing what actually went on and knowing that David is benefiting from their abuse of their child..

by Mandy on Friday May 18, @01:34AM

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