Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Sweethaven Summer-Courtney Walsh

A Sweethaven Summer

Courtney Walsh

Guideposts Books, Feb 7 2012, $13.99

ISBN: 9780824945190

Suzanne, Jane, Lila and Meghan were best friends as children who shared a scrapbook/journal for starting in eighth grade for several years back in the late 1980s. Now Suzanne is dying from cancer and asks her twenty something daughter Campbell to see her to talk. When Campbell arrives she finds her mom dead. As she arranges the funeral she wonders what her mom’s final confession was going to be.

Campbell finds the 1987 scrapbook that reveals what her mom hid from her early teen BFFs. She learns who the Sweethaven Circle is from their scrapbooks. Jane hated her looks; Lila hated her mom’s indifference to her; and Meg said she felt like an outsider as the only nondrinker at a party. Then there is her mom’s bombshell back in the summer of 1987 when she broke the circle.

This is a warm sweet tale about friendship, redemption and how well you know someone. The four BFFs come across as real people either through scrapbook memories of the summer of friendship or their current family problems. However, in many ways this is Courtney’s tale as she seeks to learn who she is and gain some inner peace by helping her late mom redeem herself even in death. Fans will enjoy the character driven heartwarming visit to Sweethaven, Michigan.

Harriet Klausner

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