I’ve been a voracious reader of Judy Blume’s for as long as I can remember. I devoured her books as child, and remember eagerly perusing my local library shelves in the hope of finding more of her books. From Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, to Deenie and Blubber and beyond, her books were as integral a part of my child and young adulthood as the people I knew and the places I played.
Her more recent release, In The Unlikely Event, sparked delight among her fans the world over, but it was only when visiting my local Barnes & Noble in Hollywood that I realised I was yet to read her other adult novel, Summer Sisters.
Summer Sisters tell the story of Caitlin and Vix, an unlikely pairing who become firm friends when Caitlin invites Vix to spend the summer with her at her family home on Martha’s Vineyard, a magical and windswept island where responsibilities are few and possibilities are endless.
Annual visits to Martha’s vineyard follow in the heady summer sun, and we witness a coming of age for both of the girls as they deal with the complexities of teenage-hood and navigate their way through familial strife, falling in love and finding their place in the world. Told from the point of views of multiple narrators, we’re given a key insight into the lives of the characters that shape the girls, and see from the outside the effect they have on those around them. And when Caitlin commits the ultimate betrayal many years after their first vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Vix’s loyalty is tested, and the bond between the so-called summer sisters in in danger of irreparable damage.
A book rife with sentimentality and nostalgia; of summers gone by and first loves and childhood friends and the magic of youth, Summer Sisters is Blume at her story-telling strongest.
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