MEMORIES OF SUMMER by Ruth White
Kirkus Star

MEMORIES OF SUMMER

Age Range: 10 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

When 13-year-old Lyric and 16-year-old Summer move from Glory Bottom, Virginia, to Flint, Michigan, in 1955, life changes for them in ways no one would have expected. Their father is seeking a better way of life for them, trying to get a job in an automobile factory, and they must adjust to the ways of the city, so different from the small town they’ve known. As Summer’s already strange behavior moves into episodes of extreme paranoia, Lyric becomes her primary caretaker, switching roles with the sister who has lovingly taken care of her since their mother died. Summer’s swift and certain descent into mental illness—her first impressions of disappearing and losing her shadow, along with attempts at self-mutilation using razors and matches—are documented in Lyric’s poignant words. Added to Lyric’s burden is her understanding that she cannot allow her new friends to know that she has this strange and difficult sister. When home care becomes impossible, heart-rending choices must be made as must acceptance of the inevitable—the state hospital. White (Belle Prater’s Boy, not reviewed, etc.) portrays Summer’s illness and Lyric’s devotion to her with her customary compassion and caring sensitivity. This is a thoughtful view into a time and place, as well as a loving commentary on the strength of family bonds. Memorable. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 29th, 2000
ISBN: 0-374-34945-2
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2000




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