Thursday, September 29, 2011
I was immediately drawn to this book. It is an emotionally dark and intense novel about coming of age, lies, betrayal, guilt, and hopefully acceptance. The characters pull at your heartstrings. The writing is so rich you feel as if you personally know these people. Some you will love, some you will pity, and some you will abhor. The main character is Stephanie Burke. She is an incredible person. She has a story that must be told. Ms Forte Abate does a masterful job telling Stevie's tale.
It was the summer of 1957. Stevie and her sister Eleanor are spending the summer in Long Island with their Aunt Smyrna and Uncle Cal. Smyrna is the sister of the girls mother, Libby. They spend each summer in Long Island. This summer is different. Eleanor is 17 and Stevie 15. The girls are growing up. No longer are they youngsters content with swimming in the water and running around the beach. Eleanor, at 17, is on the verge of womanhood. The unthinkable happens, tragedy strikes, lies and deceit become the norm. Events occur that scar Stevie for life. She feels a guilt that is not hers to carry.
Salvation comes years later in the form of one young man named Ash waterman. He loves Stevie not in spite of, but because of who she is. A soul in need of help. A woman seeking forgiveness and understanding for a crime that was not hers. Today she would be in therapy to overcome her issues. These events are occurring in the early 60's. Therapy wasn't the 'thing to do' back then. The ending of the book (no spoilers here) is left open enough that a possible sequel can be written. I would love to see Stevie and Ash work through everything together. I would love to see Stevie write the names and baptism dates of their children in the family Bible.
A fantastic book. No, it did not contain sex, drugs, vampires, werewolves, or demi gods. (There was some rock and roll in the form of Elvis Presley. ) It was an emotional book about growing.