Judy Blume is one of America's most beloved authors. She has written books for all ages. Her twenty-nine titles include Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Forever; Wifey; and, most recently, In the Unlikely Event. Her books have sold more than eighty-five million copies in thirty-two languages. She lives in Key West, Florida, with her husband, George Cooper.
Blume's new novel for adults will appeal primarily to those who loved young adult novels when they were YAs themselves. Narrator Annabeth Gish's tone, unfortunately, is that of a jaded know-it-all (adults are soooo absolutely out of it). The story concerns rather implausibly a friendship begun when Caitlin and Vix (for Victoria) are 12. Caitlin, daughter of wealthy, divorced parents, declares that Vix, eldest daughter in a blue-collar family, will be her best friend. Caitlin invites Vix to spend the summer at the family home on Martha's Vineyard. Vix is taken in by Caitlin's family, who arrange for her scholarship to private school and then support her Harvard education. Summers on the Vineyard are filled with sun and adolescent sexual encounters. The girls' friendship endures betrayal, love for the same man, and diverging career paths. Gish's "attitude" is very wearing on the listener; it is a relief that this is a three-hour abridgment and not the entire book.‘Nann Blaine Hilyard, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL
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
"Compulsively readable . . . [Blume's] powers are
prodigious."-The New York Times Book Review
"As warm as a summer breeze blowing through your hair, as nostalgic as James Taylor singing 'How Sweet It Is.' You remember. So does Judy Blume. How sweet it was."-Chicago Tribune
"An exceptionally moving story that can leave the reader laughing and crying . . . sometimes at the same time . . . Blume creates a rich tapestry of characters."-The Denver Post
"Blume's characters still tend to hover after the book is set aside. . . . She catches perfectly the well-armored love between longtime female friends."-The Seattle Times