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Summer sisters
1998
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Summary
No writer captures the seasons of our lives better than Judy Blume. Now, from the New York Times bestselling author of Wifey and Smart Women, comes an extraordinary novel of reminiscence and awakening--an unforgettable story of two women, two families, and the friendships that shape a lifetime.
When Victoria Leonard answers the phone in her Manhattan office, Caitlin's voice catches her by surprise. Vix hasn't talked to her oldest friend in months. Caitlin's news takes her breath away--and Vix is transported back in time, back to the moment she and Caitlin Somers first met, back to the casual betrayals and whispered confessions of their long, complicated friendship, back to the magical island where two friends became summer sisters.
Caitlin dazzled Vix from the start, sweeping her into the heart of the unruly Somers family, into a world of privilege, adventure, and sexual daring. Vix's bond with her summer family forever reshapes her ties to her own, opening doors to opportunities she had never imagined--until the summer she falls passionately in love. Then, in one shattering moment on a moonswept Vineyard beach, everything changes, exposing a dark undercurrent in her extraordinary friendship with Caitlin that will haunt them through the years.
As their story carries us from Santa Fe to Martha's Vineyard, from New York to Venice, we come to know the men and women who shape their lives. And as we follow the two women on the paths they each choose, we wait for the inevitable reckoning to be made in the fine spaces between friendship and betrayal, between love and freedom.
Summer Sisters is a riveting exploration of the choices that define our lives, of friendshipand love, of the families we are born into and those we struggle to create. For every woman who has ever had a friend too dangerous to forgive and too essential to forget, Summer Sisters will glue you to every page, reading and remembering.
Judy Blume's twenty-one books have sold over sixty-five million copies worldwide and have been translated into twenty languages. She spends summers on Martha's Vineyard with her family. From the Hardcover edition.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
YA-Caitlin lives with her mother in Sante Fe, but spends summers on a New England island with her father, brother, and stepmother. Both parents give her free rein, and her beauty, independence, and talent for getting away with outrageous behavior make her an intriguing star to her middle school classmates. Victoria can't understand why Caitlin would single her out to be her "summer sister" on Martha's Vineyard as she sees herself as quiet and dull. She senses, though, that this vacation is an important turning point and convinces her conservative parents to let her go. The girls become fast friends, sharing six unforgettable summers together. The strength of the novel lies in the portrayal of those six seasons. The author provides an engaging tableau of teenage experiences, worries, and emotions. Together, the girls cope with their changing bodies, difficult family relationships, boyfriends, and concerns about their futures. After high school graduation, Victoria goes on to college and a career while Caitlin travels to Europe and spins out of control. She even marries Victoria's former lover and has his child before escaping to Europe alone again. The end of the novel seems rushed but, overall, both the story and the girls will quickly capture readers' interest. The author's perceptive treatment of special childhood moments, the trials and joys of adolescence, and the magical possibilities of summer make this an entertaining read.-Mary Alice Giarda, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Although Blume has published two adult novels, Wifey (1978) and Smart Women (1985), she remains best known as the groundbreaking author of middle-grade and young-adult books, including Are You There God? It's Me Margaret (1972). Her latest effort, although published as an adult book, could just as easily have been on a YA list. It is, after all, the story of a teenage friendship between two girls, one rich, one poor, and it traces what happens to them as they grow up and eventually grow apart. The majority of the book covers the summers the girls spend together from ages 13 to 18 on Martha's Vineyard. Blume remains a pithy writer. Her dialogue is realistic, and her plot--coming-of-age slathered with jealousy--moves right along through family troubles, boyfriends, college, and eventually, marriage. But Blume has also covered much of this material--menstruation, masturbation, first sexual affairs--in her books for young teens. Clearly, this book (which begins in the 1970s, Blume's heyday) was designed to welcome her now grown-up readers into the world of adult fiction. The problem is, most of them probably arrived there a long time ago. What we have here is a marketing ploy: the YA novel masquerading as an adult book in order to widen its audience and capitalize on the author's name. Ironically, though, the audience who will most appreciate the trials and tribulations of friends Victoria and Caitlin as they try to grow up are the very people Blume seems trying so hard to get away from--teenage girls. --Ilene Cooper
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