Monday, August 27, 2007

Still Summer - Jacquelyn Mitchard

Still Summer
Jacquelyn Mitchard
Warner Books

Women’s Fiction

When they were in high school, the four girls were known for making trouble, mostly of the innocent kind. They named themselves The Godmothers. Cousins Tracy and Janis, along with Olivia and Holly did everything together. As they got older, their lives diverged a bit. Particularly Olivia, who spent a year abroad and ended up marrying an Italian Count. Now widowed, Olivia is returning to Chicago to meet her friends for a sailing vacation.

The four plan to sail from St. Thomas to Grenada, with the help of a captain and his mate. It will be the first time the four have really spent time together in years. When Janis has to cancel at the last minute, Tracy thinks the trip is ruined. As fate would have it, her usually rebellious nineteen-year-old daughter, Camille wants to go. Thrilled beyond reason at the fact that her daughter wants to spend time with her, Tracy immediately agrees.

The trip starts out as any lazy sailing trip would start. But all too soon there’s a storm that batters the boat. The four women are left without food, sails, radio, and crew. They find themselves confronted with a couple of modern day pirates. While trying to survive, each woman learns what she and her friends are made of; and some unsettling truths about the pasts they share.

While this book is a bit of a departure for the author, her fans will still be able to enjoy it. True, there are dangerous situations and scary scenes, but there’s nothing terribly gory or nightmare-inducing. Stripped of virtually everything that ties them to civilization, they’re forced to live within themselves. The focus of the book is on the characters’ various reactions to the survival situation, and their interactions with each other. Inevitably, not everyone shines in such an environment. Generally, I’m not a fan of head-hopping, but in this case, it’s the perfect way to show the reader exactly what each woman is thinking and feeling. The result is a book that practically demands to be finished.

Rating: 7 ½
August 2007
ISBN# 978-0-446-57876-9 (hardcover)


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