Summer Fades but Hope does not: Author's Authentic Take on the Life Experience of Young Adults
TEACH Journal of Christian Education
Summer Fades but Hope does not: Author 's Authentic Take on the Life Experience of Young Adults
Nathan Brown 0
Signs Publishing 0
0 Nathan Brown Book editor, Signs Publishing Company , Warburton, VIC
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Summer fades but hope does not:
Author’s authentic take on the life
experience of young adults
Avondale College of Higher Education alumna
Amanda Bews has a passion for the issues that
affect young adults and the choices they make.
A teacher and the mother of three boys, Bews
has written a new novel called Summer Fades
as a follow-up to her first, Heaven Sent. She
responds to questions from Nathan Brown about
her stories and why they are important.
For thousands of years, we’ve used stories to pass
wisdom from generation to generation. Jesus knew
the value of stories. Stories are memorable and
can lead us to knowledge that mere delivery of
information cannot do. With Summer Fades and
Heaven Sent, the stories generate discussion and
allow exploration of serious and often uncomfortable
issues in non-threatening ways.
How does your research of the issues about
which you write grow into a character and a
The issues grow out of my interaction with
contemporary culture. After I’ve identified which
issues to address, the characters and their stories
develop. Then I study the issues by reading
biographies, newspaper articles and academic
journals and use the research to inform the story.
After completing the third draft, I ask experts to read
the manuscript. In Summer Fades, for example, an
ambulance arrives to take Summer to hospital. So,
I asked some paramedics to read the scene so it
would reflect how they would manage the situation.
I also had a doctor, a psychologist, a counsellor and
a sexual abuse survivor read the manuscript before I
completed the final draft. Authenticity is important.
Faith is also a significant part of the stories. Why?
My faith is intricately linked to all the decisions I
make in life. When I’ve tried to “go it alone,” things
haven’t worked out. I hope the young adults who
read the stories are encouraged to explore how God
wants to be a part of their lives and how biblical
principles apply to contemporary issues.
What’s surprised you about the responses
you’ve received to Heaven Sent?
Just how many people have found themselves in
similar situations to Heaven. Date rape is so much
more common than I imagined. Concern about the
spiking of women’s drinks is understandable, but the
most used date rape drug is alcohol.
Apart from understanding more about anorexia
and abuse, what do you hope readers will learn
from Summer Fades?
I hope they might be more willing to think about
why people act the way they do. We all experience
life differently and many people have lived through
extenuating circumstances, so we should always be
kind and considerate. I also hope they’ll understand
more about God’s renewing, healing power and
about how He works in and through genuine
community. A healthy church family is a wonderful
place in which to experience life change. (see the
Book Review p. 63)
Amanda Bews introducing Summer Fades
Photography: Nathan Chee
Summer Fades and Heaven Sent are available from
Adventist Book Centres and from hopeshop.com.
Download discussion guides for Heaven Sent at
act the way
they do. …