An American Summer: A Novel (Beeler Large Print Series)

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9781574904741: An American Summer: A Novel (Beeler Large Print Series)

Set in the nostalgic year of 1955, this touching novel reveals a unique kind of love between kindred spirit

Set in the nostalgic year of 1955, this touching novel reveals a unique kind of love between kindred spirits. It is told through the voice of 14-year-old Christy Banister, a sweet, slightly naïve young boy in need of guidance as he makes his way through adolescence. He has moved to Baltimore with his father, and as the new kid on the block in an isolated new neighborhood, Christy has few opportunities to make new friends.

At the start of the summer, Christy meets 23-year-old Kathryn Slade. Once a beautiful young woman, Kathryn is now a quadriplegic after a battle with polio that nearly cost her life when she was 17. However, despite Kathryn's physical limitations, she and Christy develop a strong and intimate friendship.

As Christy struggles to grow up, he must learn to deal with the problems that usually beset a much older boy as he also confronts issues of sex and familial betrayal. Yet the friendship, wisdom and vitality bestowed by Kathryn serves as a guiding light. At the same time, Christy helps to give Kathryn new joy and six weeks of hope. Their summer ends with the ultimate victory of lives lived and loved.

s. It is told through the voice of 14-year-old Christy Banister, a sweet, slightly naïve young boy in need of guidance as he makes his way through adolescence. He has moved to Baltimore with his father, and as the new kid on the block in an isolated new neighborhood, Christy has few opportunities to make new friends.

At the start of the summer, Christy meets 23-year-old Kathryn Slade. Once a beautiful young woman, Kathryn is now a quadriplegic after a battle with polio that nearly cost her life when she was 17. However, despite Kathryn's physical limitations, she and Christy develop a strong and intimate friendship.

As Christy struggles to grow up, he must learn to deal with the problems that usually beset a much older boy as he also confronts issues of sex and familial betrayal. Yet the friendship, wisdom and vitality bestowed by Kathryn serves as a guiding light. At the same time, Christy helps to give Kathryn new joy and six weeks of hope. Their summer ends with the ultimate victory of lives lived and loved.

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About the Author:

Frank Deford grew up in Baltimore. His work can be found across a broad range of genres. He has written 12 books, two of which, Everybody's All-American and Alex: The Life of a Child, were made into movies. Mr. Deford has been a commentator on National Public Radio for 20 years. On television, where he is now a correspondent for RealSports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO, he has won both an Emmy and a Peabody Award. This is his seventh novel. He resides in Westport, Connecticut, with his wife, Carol.

From Publishers Weekly:

Anyone who remembers the fearful summers before the Salk vaccine wiped out polio will relate to Deford's novel of the 1950s. Those who warm to stories in which appealing teenagers come of age will also find resonance here. The narrator, 14-year-old Christy Bannister, recently transplanted from Terre Haute, Ind., to Baltimore, rescues a lost dog from danger, then meets its owner, 23-year-old Kathryn Slade, a victim of polio, who is kept alive by an iron lung. Christy is having a tough time adjusting to his new surroundings, both in making new friends and in dealing with ethical problems involving his father, who is having an affair and also being blackmailed by his company's owner into firing a longtime employee. Kathryn provides the example he needs; she is cheerful and lives life as fully as her handicap allows. A serious swimmer before her illness, Kathryn offers to coach Christy in her pool, so he can compete in the annual Labor Day extravaganza. Christy has seen home movies of Kathryn when she was his age, and it's not difficult for him to imagine her as his girlfriend. They fulfill each other's needs as Kathryn requires a project to take her mind off her condition, while Christy desperately needs a friend and mentor. A subplot about Christy's 17-year-old sister, Sue, who is raped by a neighbor, serves more to demonstrate the mores of the 1950s than to enhance the plot. Still, Deford (The Other Adonis) manages to twang the heart strings without being maudlin or sentimental, while delivering two memorable characters.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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