Half & Canada Jacquelyn Mitchard still summer

ISBN 13: 9781415937792

still summer

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9781415937792: still summer

Back in high school, Tracy, Olivia, and Holly were known as The Godmothers, the girls everyone wanted to be and know. Unlike many friendships, their bond survived the years. But 20 years later, their glamorous leader, Olivia, whose wealthy Italian husband has died, suggests they reunite on her return to the United States with a luxury sailboat crossing in the Caribbean. With Tracy's college-aged daughter and an attentive two-man crew, they sail into paradise. But then, the smallest mistake triggers a series of devastating events. Suddenly in a desperate fight for survival, they battle the elements, dwindling food and water, the threat of modern-day piracy, and their own frailties. STILL SUMMER is at once a breathtaking adventure and a story about the bonds that hold friend to friend and mothers to daughters, and how facing our own mortality tests the truth of everything we think we know.

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Review:

Guest Reviewer: Jodi Picoult
From the provocative and gut-wrenching The Pact, to the brilliant genre-bending The Tenth Circle, to Nineteen Minutes, her most recent novel about a high-school shooting, Jodi Picoult's riveting novels center on family and relationships, and bring to light questions and issues that remain with a reader long after the last page is turned.

In one of my novels, I describe life as what happens when the what-if's don't. In Jacquelyn Mitchard's book, Still Summer, we lucky readers get tumbled into a world where extraordinary things happen to ordinary women; where the what-if's don't only become a reality, but a nightmare that truly puts into perspective what's important in life, and who we truly are.

Mitchard has always excelled at capturing the details of a fictional character with such a finely drawn hand that it's easy to believe you know the people who inhabit her books--that you may have had coffee with them, or passed them on the street. Sometimes her characters are so real to me I have to close the book to cry; or I find myself yelling at them out loud. The ladies of Still Summer--a band of high-school friends who have long since grown up--base their connection to each other on the past, when they were tough-talking Catholic schoolgirls called the Godmothers. But where Tracy, Holly, and Janis went on to marry and live quiet suburban lives, Olivia became an Italian countess, living the kind of life the others could only dream about. Reunited for a Caribbean sailing voyage after Olivia's husband's death, we watch the women come to terms with the fact that our memories of the past are often colored by nostalgia; that friends who fit together seamlessly years ago might, with the passing of time, find it harder to align.

The book begins in familiar territory--women whose lives that are peppered with recalcitrant kids, clueless husbands, the double-handed shuffle of home and career. At the last minute, Janis begs out of the trip to tend to an ailing husband--leaving Tracy's daughter, Cammie, to take her place--in spite of the fact that the relationship between mother and daughter is rocky and cavernous. And then, just as suddenly as a rogue wind, the book takes a shocking turn--leaving these women in a crisis situation that leaves them not only fighting for their lives, but revising their own understanding of friendship, family, and loyalty.

What is it about a Mitchard novel that rises so far above others? The realism, the grace of the characters who people it, and the heartbreaking truths that sneak up on a reader when we least expect it. Still Summer reminds us that sometimes it takes a tragedy to learn what's beautiful about ordinary life; that sometimes we have to travel great distances to figure out how we define "home"; and perhaps most importantly, that we do not know anyone as well as we think--not our daughters, not our friends, and not even ourselves. --Jodi Picoult


About the Author:

Jacquelyn Mitchard is the New York Times bestselling author of Cage of Stars, The Deep End of the Ocean and eight other works for both adults and children. She is also the author of The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship, a collection of her newspaper columns, which are syndicated nationwide by Tribune Media Services. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and seven children.

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