Summer Sisters

Summer Sisters

4.4 466
by Judy Blume
     
 

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Summer Sisters chronicles the lifelong friendship between two women, from their girlhood summers together on Martha's Vineyard to their more complicated adult relationship. Caitlin dazzled Vix from the start, sweeping her into the world of the Somers family, a world of privilege, adventure and sexual daring. Vix's bond with her 'summer' family had foreverSee more details below

Overview

Summer Sisters chronicles the lifelong friendship between two women, from their girlhood summers together on Martha's Vineyard to their more complicated adult relationship. Caitlin dazzled Vix from the start, sweeping her into the world of the Somers family, a world of privilege, adventure and sexual daring. Vix's bond with her 'summer' family had forever reshaped her relatioship to her own, opening doors to opportunities she had never imagined. Then, the summer she falls passionately in love, in one shattering moment on a moonswept beach, everything changes, exposing a dark undercurrent in her extraordinary friendship with Caitlin that will haunt them through the years. A riveting exploration of the choices that define our lives, of friendship and love, of the families we are born into and those we struggle to create, and a story for every woman who has ever had a friend too dangerous to forgive and too essential to forget.

Editorial Reviews

Hartford Courant
Her writing sings.
Ruth Coughlin
Compulsively readable. . .her powers are prodigious. -- NY Times Book Review
Cosmopolitan
You'll love it like a sister.
Seattle Times
Blume catches perfectly the well-armored love between longtime female friends.
Denver Post
An exceptionally moving story. . .a rich tapestry of characters.
Library Journal
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
School Library Journal
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. 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
Seattle Times
Blume catches perfectly the well-armored love between longtime female friends.
The Denver Post
An exceptionally moving story. . .a rich tapestry of characters.
From the Publisher
“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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385337663
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/27/2003
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
383,725
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.89(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York's Upper East Side, Key West, and Martha's Vineyard
Date of Birth:
February 12, 1938
Place of Birth:
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Education:
B.S. in education, New York University, 1961
Website:
http://www.judyblume.com/

Read an Excerpt

Prologue
Summer 1990
The city is broiling in an early summer heat wave and for the third day in a row Victoria buys a salad from the Korean market around the corner and has lunch at her desk. Her roommate, Maia, tells her she's risking her life eating from a salad bar. If the bacteria don't get you, the preservatives will. Victoria considers this as she chomps on a carrot and scribbles notes to herself on an upcoming meeting with a client who's looking for a PR firm with an edge. Everyone wants edge these days. You tell them it's edgy, they love it.
When the phone rings she grabs it, expecting a call from the segment producer at Regis and Kathie Lee. "This is Victoria Leonard," she says, sounding solid and professional.
"Vix?"
She's surprised to hear Caitlin's voice on the other end and worries for a minute it's bad news, because Caitlin calls only at night, usually late, often waking her from a deep sleep. Besides, it's been a couple of months since they've talked at all.
"You have to come up," Caitlin says. She's using her breathy princess voice, the one she's picked up in Europe, halfway between Jackie O's and Princess Di's. "I'm getting married at Lamb's house on the Vineyard."
"Married?"
"Yes. And you have to be my Maid of Honor. It's only appropriate, don't you think?"
"I guess that depends on who you're marrying."
"Bru," Caitlin answers, and suddenly she sounds like herself again. "I'm marrying Bru. I thought you knew."
Victoria forces herself to swallow, to breathe, but she feels clammy and weak anyway. She grabs the cold can of Diet Coke from thecorner of her desk and holds it against her forehead, then moves it to her neck, as she jots down the date and time of the wedding. She doodles all around it while Caitlin chats, until the whole page is filled with arrows, crescent moons, and triangles, as if she's back in sixth grade.
"Vix?"  Caitlin says. "Are you still there?  Do we have a bad connection or what?"
"No, it's okay."
"So you'll come?"
"Yes."  The second she hangs up she makes a mad dash for the women's room where she pukes her guts out in the stall. She has to call Caitlin back, tell her there's no way she can do this. What can Caitlin be thinking?  What was she thinking when she agreed?
Four weeks later Caitlin, her hair flying in the wind, meets Victoria at the tiny Vineyard airport. Victoria is the last one to step out of the commuter from LaGuardia. She'd spotted Caitlin from her window as soon as they'd landed but felt glued to her seat. It's been more than two years since they've seen each other, and three since Victoria graduated from college and got caught up in real life--a job, with just two weeks vacation a year. No money to fly around. Bummer, as Lamb would say when they were kids.
"Going on to Nantucket with us?"  the flight attendant asks and suddenly Victoria realizes she's the only passenger still on the plane. Embarrassed, she grabs her bag and hustles down the steps onto the tarmac. Caitlin finds her in the crowd and waves frantically. Victoria heads toward her, shaking her head because Caitlin is wearing a T-shirt that says simplify, simplify, simplify. She's barefoot as usual and Victoria is betting her feet will be as dirty as they were that first summer.
Caitlin holds her at arm's length for a minute. "God, Vix . . ."  she says, "you look so . . . grown up!"  They both laugh, then Caitlin hugs her. She smells of seawater, suntan lotion, and something else. Victoria closes her eyes, breathing in the familiar scent, and for a moment it's as if they've never been apart. They're still Vixen and Cassandra, summer sisters forever. The rest is a mistake, a crazy joke.
From the Hardcover edition.

Copyright© 1998 by Judy Blume

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