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The Gap Yearby Sarah Bird
Synopses & Reviews
From the widely praised author of The Yokota Officers Club and The Flamenco Academy, a novel as hilarious as it is heartbreaking about a single mom and her seventeen-year-old daughter learning how to let go in that precarious moment before college empties the nest.
In The Gap Year, told with perfect pitch from both points of view, we meet Cam Lightsey, lactation consultant extraordinaire, a divorcée still secretly carrying a torch for the ex who dumped her, a suburban misfit whos given up her rebel dreams so her only child can get a good education.
We also learn the secrets of Aubrey Lightsey, tired of being the dutiful, grade-grubbing band geek, ready to explode from wanting her “real” life to begin, trying to figure out love with boys weaned on Internet porn.
When Aubrey meets Tyler Moldenhauer, football idol-sex god with a dangerous past, the fuse is lit. Late-bloomer Aubrey metastasizes into Cams worst silent, sullen teen nightmare, a girl with zero interest in college. Worse, on the sly Aubreys in touch with her father, who left when she was two to join a celebrity-ridden nutball cult.
As the novel unfolds—with humor, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and penetrating insights about love in the twenty-first century—the dreams of daughter, mother, and father chart an inevitable, but perhaps not fatal, collision . . .
"Bird (How Perfect Is That) takes aim at the late-breaking angst of soon-to-be empty-nester Cam Lightsey in her sharp latest. As a lactation consultant, Cam guides new women through their first uncertain days of motherhood, and though single mom Cam (her husband ran off years ago to join a cult) has always been confident in her relationship with her own daughter, Aubrey, a clarinetist in the high school marching band, their bond sours in Aubrey's senior year when Aubrey ditches the band for Tyler Moldenhauer, the quarterback who rescues her from a bout with heatstroke. Two days before Aubrey is due to leave for college, she goes AWOL, and Cam has to face the possibility that all the hopes and dreams she had for Aubrey might not be realized. Told from both Cam's and Aubrey's perspectives, the narrative teases out the ever-deepening mysteries of parents and children as they grow up and apart. Bird's breezy style and spot-on observations of contemporary family life give this headlong story a fizzy energy that carries through to the unexpected conclusion. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Sarah Bird is the author of seven previous novels, most recently How Perfect Is That, The Flamenco Academy, and The Yokota Officers Club. She lives in Austin, Texas.
From the widely praised author of The Yokota Officers Club, a keenly felt, wonderfully written novel about love that can both bind family members together and make them free, set in that precarious moment before your child leaves home for college.
Cam Lightsey, lactation consultant, is a single mom, a suburban misfit who’s given up her rebel dreams to set her only child on an upward path.
Aubrey Lightsey, a pretty, shy girl who plays clarinet, is ready to explode from wanting her “real” life to begin.
When Aubrey meets Tyler Moldenhauer, football idol of students and teachers alike, the fuse is lit. Aubrey metastasizes into Cam’s worst teen nightmare: full of secrets and silences, uninterested in college. Worse, on the sly she’s in touch with her father, who left when she was two to join NEXT!—a celebrity-ridden cult—where he’s a headline grabber. As the novel unfolds—with emotional fireworks, humor, and edge-of-your-seat suspense—the dreams of daughter, mother, and father chart an inevitable, but perhaps not fatal, collision . . .
About the Author
"Alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, The Gap Year is a pitch-perfect portrayal of a mother and teenage daughter on the precipice of seismic change. Everyone is given full rein in this snappy, deliciously vicious, modern spin on growing up, growing old, and letting go. Bird's timing is impeccable." –Cristina Garcia
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