The Summer We Got Free by Mia McKenzie

The Summer We Got Free

Mia McKenzie

Since the death of her twin Geo, Ava – once a vibrant child and brilliant artist – lives a colourless existence. She and her family subsist in a greyness of perpetual grief; ostracised and persecuted by their local church. Then, 17 years later, a stranger arrives. This story feels like reading a painting - shaded with mystery, loss, racial prejudice, and gay love - experiencing with Ava and her family a rediscovery of the vivid colours of life.


Ava sat staring at the painting for a long while, her head tilted slightly to one side, her eyes moving along the angles, the strange curves of the woman’s neck , back, buttocks, and thigh. The color seemed to enter Ava, the red filling her view like blood or sunset, the blues racing through her, cooling her skin in the already-air-conditioned room. She thought again about who she had been, before, and wondered when the woman in the mirror had become different.

  • Sula by Toni Morrison
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker

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