Sunday, January 29, 2006

Summer's End, by Audrey Couloumbis

When Grace's brother Collin burns his draft card, their father throws him out of the house. Grace's big birthday party is cancelled and Grace can't imagine a worse state of affairs, that is, until Collin runs away to Canada, and now grace has a set of secrets to hold inside as she and her cousins take sides in a war at home that the adults are playing with each other.

Set in the early 1970s, Couloumbis is attempting to capture the mood of the times as conservative families faced the reality of their own sons going off to war, and had their ideals tested by the experience. Intended to be more of a set of reflections on family, the book falters a bit there, and overall this is a thick and turgid read. I'll admit that I'm not a big fan of historical fiction, but it seems that this particular topic must seem pretty far removed from the minds of young readers today, since the characters of this story would be grandparents by now. And I don't think it helps that the story is so cerebral and not terribly event-filled.

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