Tuesday, June 29, 2010

86. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

I consider Summer Sisters a recommendation from one of my Facebook friends. Technically, she mentioned in a status update that she was reading one of her favorite books after a bad day. Tenuous? Sure. But recommendations were a little harder to come by than I was expecting, and I was excited to read a Blume novel that was aimed at adults. There you go.

When Victoria Leonard answers the phone in her Manhattan office, Caitlin's voice catches her by surprise. Vix hasn't talked to her oldest friend in months. Caitlin's news takes her breath away -- and Vix is transported back in time, back to the moment she and Caitlin Somers first met, back to the casual betrayals and whispered confessions of their long, complicated friendship, back to the magical island where two friends became summer sisters. Caitlin dazzled Vix from the start, sweeping her into the heart of the unruly Somers family, into a world of privilege, adventure, and sexual daring. Vix's bond with her summer family forever reshapes her ties to her own, opening doors to opportunities she had never imagined -- until the summer she falls passionately in love. Then, in one shattering moment on a moonswept Vineyard beach, everything changes, exposing a dark undercurrent in her extraordinary friendship with Caitlin that will haunt them through the years. As their story carries us from Santa Fe to Martha's Vineyard, from New York to Venice, we come to know the men and women who shape their lives. And as we follow the two women on the paths they each choose, we wait for the inevitable reckoning to be made in the fine spaces between friendship and betrayal, between love and freedom. 

Plot summary taken from the book jacket.

It was an enjoyable read, but here's the thing: Caitlin is a right little bitch. I can't really mince words on this one. All of the "casual betrayals" mentioned in the copy above are things that Caitlin has done to Vix, none are the other way around. I don't really understand the friendship between the two, but I suppose that Vix's relationship with the Somers family is the reason that they never completely lost touch. We get peeps into other characters' points of view at the end of each chapter, which worked well for the most part and rounded out the story. The one person we don't hear from? It's no coincidence that it's Caitlin. I think I'm just past the point of finding someone like Caitlin to be mysterious or romantic or intriguing. She's damaged and she hurts people. Period. That shouldn't "dazzle" people.

Whew. Can you tell I felt strongly about that? Now that I've got it off my chest, I want to reiterate that Summer Sisters is an enjoyable read. It's great for a beach read or a lazy Saturday afternoon. I love Judy Blume and you can definitely see her in this book. It's not going to end up being one of my favorites, but that's fine. I still had a good time reading it. 

1 comment:

Adriana said...

I thought the friendship in this book was odd and not just for the betrayals. I have done some strange things with friends, but the whole "power" thing when they were 13, or whatever, crossed the line as normal for me. If you feel like reading another Judy Blume adult novel, try Wifey. It was written in the 70s (I think) and is quite wacky and a little perverse.