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Seventh grade has just ended, and Cassie's older sister is about to have her first baby, when Cassie sees her sister's husband with another woman at a party. Cassie has always adored her handsome brother-in-law, and when Mickey tells her she must have been mistaken, she wants badly to believe him. But over the course of the summer, her sister's marriage falls apart, and so does the security of her home, as Cassie's grandmother decides to sell the seaside bed-and-breakfast that has been the family's home since ...
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Seventh grade has just ended, and Cassie's older sister is about to have her first baby, when Cassie sees her sister's husband with another woman at a party. Cassie has always adored her handsome brother-in-law, and when Mickey tells her she must have been mistaken, she wants badly to believe him. But over the course of the summer, her sister's marriage falls apart, and so does the security of her home, as Cassie's grandmother decides to sell the seaside bed-and-breakfast that has been the family's home since Cassie can remember. Bolstered by a fierce sense of justice, Cassie is determined to tight the changes. Will she be left behind as her family moves beyond these troubled times?
During the summer after seventh grade, Cassie sees her close-knit family life in Bethany Beach, Delaware, changing drastically as her older sister has a baby, reveals the true nature of her husband, and announces the breakup of her marriage.
Megan and Tommy and I were up on the board walk after supper, eating frozen yogurt to celebrate the end of school and the beginning of summer, and that we'd made it through seventh grade and particularly Mrs. Quattlemayer's English class. “Move onward and upward, ladies and gentlemen,” she had said that afternoon as she collected the test papers. “Onward and upward, with nary a mixed metaphor among you.”
“Onward and upward,” said Megan, her tongue darting around the edges of her cone to catch the dribbles.
“I'm not even sure I'd know a mixed metaphor if I met it head-on,” said Tommy.
“She accidentally let the cat out of the bag and really put her foot in her mouth,” I said.
“Who?” they said at the same time.
“Not who but what,” I said. “That's it. A mixed metaphor. I think.”
Megan groaned and Tommy said, “Give it a rest, Cassie. School's over.” And we all three slouched down on the bench, propping our feet on the railing in front of us and staring out at the ocean.
Now, to clarify a bit (Mrs. Quattlemayer is big on “clarification, ladies and gentlemen, clarification”): Megan Mallonee and Tommy Layton and I have been best friends since kindergarten, when we were the only three kids in our grade who lived right in town and not scattered around the county someplace. We've always done just about everything together and have made a blood pact to stay friends forever, do something incredibly dramatic when we grow up, and never leave Bethany Beach. Which is going to be hard to do because Bethany isn't all that exciting. Except, to us it is.
The thing about Bethany is that it really is the“quiet resort” it's known as. I mean, there aren't any roller coasters or boardwalk trains or glitzy hotels. Instead, there are houses, and a lot of little shops that sell T-shirts and frozen yogurt and books and film. There are restaurants, a couple of small motels, a handful of churches, a post office, and a library. There are also shells and sand and seagulls, and the ocean waves that just keep rolling in.
And in the winter things get even more quiet. When we were younger, Megan and Tommy and I used to walk the boardwalk end to end on cold windy days, making up an elaborate story as we went, all about how we were the last people left in Bethany (and on Earth) -- and how we would survive.
As for me, I'm Cassie Barnhart -- tall, basically shapeless, and with sort of chopped-off straw-color hair that mostly looks windblown. Two important things to know about me are: (1) I don't eat anything that has a face; and (2) I fix things: smooshed-down sand castles on the beach, lopsided bird's nests that the birds have long since abandoned, clocks, and sometimes life. At least I try.
After we'd been sitting there awhile, Tommy stood up and stretched, saying, “Let's go. There's nothing happening here and I have to start work at seven tomorrow.”
“At least you have a job, a real one,” said Megan, shoving the end of her cone into her mouth and pitching the paper napkin into the trash.
“Only because my parents own a bakery,” said Tommy. “And because they got me working papers and are making me work the early shift, which means I have to get up at 6 a.m. all summer.”
“Okay, but they're also paying you,” said Megan.
“Yeah, minimum wage and all the jelly doughnuts I can eat, but hey, I'm not complaining. It's steady minimum wage. I think my folks finally figured out that they had an untapped labor source right under their roof. Anyway, Megan, think of the money you'll be raking in baby-sitting all summer.”
“Yeah, sure, it's not exactly easy money, baby-sitting for a bunch of kids who think being on vacation means never having to say they're tired,” said Megan.
“Makes no difference, on account of there's good money to be made from the invasion of the touri, right?” said Tommy.
The invasion of the touri is what we call it every June when the tourists arrive from Wilmington and Philadelphia and Washington and Baltimore. When they fill up the houses that have been closed and empty all winter long, swarm into TCBY after supper for their frozen yogurt, and plant their umbrellas and sand chairs on the beach that the three of us like to think of as mostly our own.
“And speaking of the touri, I'll be working at the Spindrift again, naturally,” I said.
“Same old stuff?” asked Megan.
“Same old stuff,” I said. “Changing beds and doing laundry and cleaning up rooms.”
The Spindrift is the bed-and-breakfast that my grandmother Emma has run since before I was born, and where Mom and I still live. Where Cindy, my sister, lived too, until she married Mickey, my favorite and only brother-in-law'and moved into his house a couple of miles out of town.
A bed-and-breakfast is a place to stay for people who don't like big hotels. What's cool about the Spindrift is the rooms look like real rooms and have names instead of numbers (Ebb Tide or Sandpiper), and everybody eats breakfast together, either in the dining room or out on the porch. There's a piano in the living room, and a TV, and a whole shelf of games and puzzles for rainy days. I used to close my eyes and try to count up all the people who had stayed at the Spindrift since I was little, but I gave that up a few years back. Some I remember, and some I don't...Spindrift. Copyright © by Colby Rodowsky. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted September 15, 2004
Spindrift, by Colby F. Rodowsky, is a book about a girl, whose name is Cassie, who lives in Bethany, Delaware, in a bed and breakfast called Spindrift. It all starts when Cindy marries one of their customers, who fixed their clothes washer, Mickey, and becomes pregnant with their daughter, Erin. Cassie sees Mickey with another woman, but tries to believe it is not true. Later, Mickey tells Cassie that she had seen his double. Even when Cassie finds a red and white polka dot bikini that is not Cindy¿s in Mickey bedroom, she tries not to believe it. Still when she hears a fight going on in Cindy and Mickey¿s room she tries not to believe it. After that, Cassie¿s grandmother Emma tells her that they will sell the Spindrift. In an unrealistic way, Cassie becomes angry that they will sell the Spindrift. She had wanted Erin to grow up at the Spindrift. This makes her worry about Erin¿s not knowing her father. The book is interesting, but a bit unrealistic. Cassie doesn¿t really act like her own age. The book is very interesting, though, and I recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.