AFTER SUMMER by Nick Earls

AFTER SUMMER

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A few Australian weeks at the beach hold tension and tender richness as Alex waits to find out his university future. Summer is for ocean swimming and bodysurfing, but introspective Alex worries about whether he’s gotten into college. His narrative voice is evocatively descriptive except when it’s (suddenly) hilariously funny. He meets a girl who won’t reveal her name but leaves a jar of honey in his mailbox; their days together are slow-cooked, for savoring, both to them and to readers. Her offbeat family takes him in and shows him bread baking and nude pottery, equal parts embarrassment and joy for him. His own mother is overly interested, making Alex’s balance between boundaries and warmth elusive. He’s not easygoing but he’s slowly expanding his room for life. A wry and unhurried look at almost-adulthood, complete with issues of sex, sometimes comical (her blustery dad spins a clay penis on the pottery wheel) but never trivialized. Thoughtful; very funny; bittersweet with depth. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 2nd, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-45781-X
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Graphia
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2005