The Gap Year
Knopf, Jul 5 2011, $24.95
Lactation consultant single mother Cam Lightsey earns a living by assisting moms with their first days of motherhood. Cam feels strongly her relationship with her seventeen year old daughter Aubrey is rock solid. However, the first erosion to the rock occurs when clarinetist high school senior Aubrey quits the school’s marching band to spend time with her hero quarterback Tyler Moldenhauer. Tyler rescued Aubrey when she struggled with heatstroke.
Two days before Aubrey leaves for college, she vanishes. Frantic Cam panics over the safety of her offspring. She also faces the truth that her dreams for her daughter were her dreams. Unbeknownst to Cam, Aubrey, seeking freedom to be herself, has contacted her biological father who had joined a cult fifteen years ago.
Rotating viewpoint between mother and daughter, The Gap Year is an insightful tale as mom thinks how perfect her relationship with her teenage daughter is while the offspring thinks how caged she is. Both characters are fully developed as the reader obtains how each perceives their relationship. With a nod to the muses of Kahill Gibran’s The Prophet as the parent is the bow that must free the teenage child-arrow, readers will enjoy this cautionary family drama.