Summer of the War

Summer of the War

by Gloria Whelan
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Summer of the War 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Veggiechiliqueen More than 1 year ago
Fourteen-year-old Belle longs for summer; it's when she's free to leave Detroit and return to her family's cottage on Lake Huron. Every summer, she and her siblings participate in the timeless rituals of childhood summers: swimming, fishing, reading, and playing cards in the comfortable cottage they share with their grandparents, sipping lemonade and watching sunsets from the porch. However, the summer of 1942 is different: Belle's cousin Carrie is sent to stay with them. Despite several mentions of pertinent military developments, the story didn't feel dated as WWII (unlike other period novels such as Dream When You're Feeling Blue: A Novel, the 1940s takes a backseat here).

Carrie's arrival upsets the delicate family balance. Raised in France and used to getting her own way, Carrie appears spoiled and obsessed with fashion and society. She looks down on Belle's grandmother's cooking and is horrified to discover that there isn't even a movie theater nearby (Belle's is the only cottage on the island). Carrie rebels against the rules that the rest of the family had followed without questioning, until a tragedy forces her to reevaluate.

As with other books by Gloria Whelan (The Pathless Woods: Ernest Hemingway's Sixteenth Summer in Northern Michigan, Once on This Island)Northern Michigan plays a starring role. There are detailed descriptions of wildlife, particularly birds, and of wildflowers, of channel currents and nautical knowledge. You can practically feel the scorching August sand beneath your toes and hear the echoes of thunder as storms roll over the island. Summer of the War is a delightful read that captures the lazy days of summer despite a changing world.