Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThe author of Pilgrim's Harbor deftly pieces together a series of sharp vignettes to trace a painful yet upbeat journey of self-discovery. Jill Packard, 14, brash, rebellious and uninterested in schoolwork, agrees to her widowed father Timothy's deal-if she gets passing grades, he'll treat them both to a summer of travel and beaches. The wary but companionable duo first test the limits of their relationship in a visit with Timothy's mother near the sandy beaches of Long Island. The first in a series of sharply defined personalities, Norma Packard is insightful, feisty and able to offer exactly the right comfort to Jill after a traumatizing incident. Dad and daughter's next stop is a lakeside cabin in Michigan, where they link up with some intriguing neighbors, including a young girl with a murky past and bleak outlook who introduces Jill to some mind-altering experiences that lead to tragedy. The next leg of the journey takes the pair to an aunt's home in Oregon. Skloot blends well-limned personalities and neatly construed events with an evocative atmosphere, depicting with clarity and distinction the bumpy acquisition of wisdom. (Dec.)
Library Journal - Library JournalThis penetrating but reassuring novel employs many favorite literary conventions and reshapes others to good effect. The summer-long journey of youngish widower Timothy Packard and his teenaged daughter, Jill, is unusual. Eschewing the conventional flight west, Timothy and Jill travel in a geographical triangle; Jill perceives it as a delta, "a symbol for change," but it also represents redemption and closure. Traditional episodes, such as sexual encounters for both major characters and dangerous adventures, contribute to their development. Uncharacteristically, father and daughter share many important experiences. Each is well aware that the other is changing, and each encounters both strangers and figures from the past, which emphasizes their deepening understanding and growing closeness. Though nothing can protect Tim from loneliness or Jill from loss of innocence, shared experience and genuine communication do assuage pain and avert familiar disintegration. Recommended for public libraries.-Jane S. Bakerman, Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute
Mary CarrollUnlike Harold Abelstein's move to Palm Springs (see Albert's "Desert Blues", above), the 1980s cross-country journey from central Illinois to the Oregon coast that widower Timothy Packard and teenage daughter Jill undertake in "Summer Blue" is voluntary: a reward (or payoff) to Jill for cleaning up her high-school act. But tragedy lurks here, too--the death of Jill's mother, Charlene, a half dozen years before of leukemia and her adultery in the years before the illness struck have left scars that have not yet healed. As father and daughter journey across the country, both discover truths about themselves and each other. Skloot, an award-winning poet, novelist, and essayist, has a delicate touch, allowing his characters to grow and change slowly as they come to terms with the challenges of sex and love, the pain of injury and death, the nature and demands of friendship, and the need for forgiveness. A caring and compassionate story.
- Story Line Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.30(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.01(d)
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Summer Blue based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ. IT RELATES TO THE ADULT IN YOU AS WELL AS THE CHILD. I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE CHARACTERS IMMEDIATLY. A TRULEY JOYFUL AND EMOTIONAL BOOK THAT WILL KEEP IN MY MEMORY.