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Last Summer

Cover of Last Summer

Last Summer

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The town of Yorktide, close to Maine's beautiful beaches and the city of Portland, seems like the perfect place to raise a family. For Jane Patterson, there's another advantage: her best friend, Frannie Giroux, lives next door, and their teenaged daughters, Rosie and Meg, are inseparable. But in the girls' freshman year of high school, everything changes. Rosie—quiet, shy, and also very pretty—attracts the sneers and slights of a clique of older girls. Over time, the bullying worsens. When Meg betrays their friendship, fearful that she too will be targeted, Rosie suffers an emotional breakdown.
Blaming both Meg and Frannie, Jane tries to help Rosie heal while dealing with her own guilt and anger. In the months that follow, each struggles with the ideas of forgiveness and compassion, of knowing when a friendship is shattered beyond repair—and when hope can be salvaged, one small moment at a time...
Praise for Holly Chamberlin
"Chamberlin's latest is a great summer read but with substance. It will find a wide audience in its exploration of sisterhood, family, and loss." –Library Journal on Summer with My Sisters
The town of Yorktide, close to Maine's beautiful beaches and the city of Portland, seems like the perfect place to raise a family. For Jane Patterson, there's another advantage: her best friend, Frannie Giroux, lives next door, and their teenaged daughters, Rosie and Meg, are inseparable. But in the girls' freshman year of high school, everything changes. Rosie—quiet, shy, and also very pretty—attracts the sneers and slights of a clique of older girls. Over time, the bullying worsens. When Meg betrays their friendship, fearful that she too will be targeted, Rosie suffers an emotional breakdown.
Blaming both Meg and Frannie, Jane tries to help Rosie heal while dealing with her own guilt and anger. In the months that follow, each struggles with the ideas of forgiveness and compassion, of knowing when a friendship is shattered beyond repair—and when hope can be salvaged, one small moment at a time...
Praise for Holly Chamberlin
"Chamberlin's latest is a great summer read but with substance. It will find a wide audience in its exploration of sisterhood, family, and loss." –Library Journal on Summer with My Sisters
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About the Author-
  • Holly Chamberlin was born and raised in New York City. After earning a Masters degree in English Literature from New York University and working as an editor in the publishing industry for ten years, she moved to Boston, married and became a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband now live in downtown Portland, Maine, in a restored mid-nineteenth century brick townhouse with Betty, the most athletic, beautiful and intelligent cat in the world. Readers can visit her website at: www.hollychamberlin.com.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 21, 2012
    Friends are forever in this exploration of bullying—a troubling hot-button topic that comes into shocking focus here for two families torn apart by a heartless clique of mean girls. Sweet and sensitive Rosie, an only child, spirals into a dangerous depression and breakdown—including “cutting” and anorexia—after she’s targeted by a crew of nasty teens and then betrayed by best friend Meg, who blurts out an embarrassing secret to the bully pack. “Meg broke a solemn oath... I feel like dying,” Rosie confides in increasingly heartbreaking and frightening diary entries. The campaign of harassment also drives a painful wedge between the girls’ mothers, Jane and Frannie, who agonize over their children’s pain as well as their own damaged friendship. Even the rock-solid marriage of Rosie’s parents, Jane and Mike, begins to crack under the strain of the cruel harassment, as they both lie about their shared guilt. Chamberlin (Summer Friends) is pitch-perfect in her depiction of Rosie and Meg struggling to grow up, love, and forgive themselves and each other. But the rush to a happily-ever-after ending for everyone turns a thoughtful social commentary and tender narration of friendship and loyalty into a sticky-sweet after-school special.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 4, 2003
    After a string of humorous essay collections, Ford (The Little Book of Neuroses) expands his repertoire with this brimful first novel about life, love and self-discovery over the course of a steamy Provincetown summer. Among the bevy of characters Ford introduces is Josh Felling, who flees to a friend's guesthouse to mull over his boyfriend's recent infidelity, though a day later he's already lusting over Reilly Brennan, the soon-to-be-married guesthouse repairman who might not be so straight after all. Midwestern runaway teen Toby Evans arrives soon after, and meets sweet local transgender performer Emmeline, who takes him in; next comes influential Hollywood producer Reid Truman and his boyfriend, hot closeted actor Ty Rusk. A quick weekend away turns into an indefinite stay for Josh, who has decided to write a novel and agrees to donate sperm so that Jackie, a local lesbian restaurant owner, can bear a child. Complicating matters for the Hollywood duo is Devin, an opportunistic local girl who insinuates herself into their lives by agreeing to pose as Ty's New York "love interest," but has big plans to expose their relationship to the tabloids instead. This is a slight cut above more mainstream gay fiction offerings, thanks to Ford's crisp prose and snappy, contemporary dialogue. Though the characters wade across some all-too-familiar waters, it's the sandy, barefoot-friendly setting that morphs all the melodrama into a satisfying beach book—and a pleasant fiction debut for Ford. Agent, Mitchell Waters. (Aug.)Forecast:Readers of Ford's popular essay collections may feel that
    Last Summer lacks bite (and it arrives rather late in the season for a beach book), but the author's familiar name should help it stand out among other gay romances.

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    Kensington
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