Alice and her friends take summer jobs aboard a cruise ship on the Chesapeake Bay following graduation.
Thrilled with the nearly two-to-one ratio of guys to girls that makes up for the low pay and drudgery of galley duty, Alice makes the most of her summer before college. She's torn between missing Patrick, who's in Barcelona, and enjoying flirtatious outings with Mitch, a 20-ish crew member who's taking the summer off from trapping muskrats in the Maryland marshes. Dramatic episodes large and small fill the weeks on the refurbished Seascape. A passenger accuses Alice of stealing her watch; another gets his kicks exposing himself when she comes to clean his room. A bee sting lands Liz in the hospital; Gwen breaks up with Austin and has her own shipboard romance. Pamela's needy, troubled mother arrives during the same week that her father and his girlfriend are on board. A rather old-fashioned plot with a tone of comfortable familiarity mixes with a smattering of innuendo and scatological humor. Alice observes it all from her place on the verge of adulthood, pondering what the future holds for her as she looks back over her life so far.
Readers who have been along with Alice on her journey from the start will enjoy this latest installment in a reliable series as it begins to wind down. (Fiction. 13-15)