Phoeba Crupp is a young woman who lives with her parents and sister on a small farm near Geelong in the 1890s. Her father is an eccentric ex-accountant who moved his family from the city in order to establish a vineyard, a decision her mother bitterly - and loudly - resents.While her sister makes a play for the local squatter's son, Phoeba is content with her best friend Harriet, until circumstances push her towards the world of men and money. Summer at Mount Hope has a lot of the black comedy of Ham's first novel, The Dressmaker, but also contains a more serious strand about the efforts of a woman a century ago to be free.
Rosalie Ham was born and raised in the Riverina, in southern NSW, and now lives in Brunswick, Victoria. She studied drama and literature before taking up writing seriously and has had written three stage plays and one radio play which were performed in Melbourne. The Dressmaker was her first novel. Published in 2000, it is a black comedy set in the 1950s about a woman who returns to her home town in Victoria to look after her dying mother, after years of living in Paris.