Synopses & Reviews
Remember that girl? The one who was impossibly cool, who taught you how to blow smoke rings, cut school, sneak out of the house? Remember how you turned yourself inside out trying to be just like her--and then she broke your heart?
Set in the long, hot summer of 1973, Paula McLain's lyrical debut novel explores what happens when an insecure, motherless teenager falls under the dangerous spell of that girl--her older cousin Fawn. Fawn's worldly ways are mesmerizing to Jamie, who submits to a makeover--both inside and out--to win Fawn's approval. But over the course of a summer wrecked with tragedy and loss, Jamie learns that Fawn will use anything and anyone to further her own motives. When a local girl goes missing, Jamie realizes how dangerous Fawn truly is, and recognizes, too late, her own complicity in the disaster that unfolds around them.
Paula McLain's poignant debut is a compelling family portrait that explores the darker sides of love and loyalty.
"It was August. For years it was August . . . . There was heat like wet gauze and a high, white sky and music coming from everywhere at once."
In the long, hot Illinois summer of 1973, insecure, motherless Jamie falls under the dangerous spell of her older, more worldly cousin Fawn, who's come to stay with Jamie and her uncle as penance for committing an "unmentionable act." It is a time of awakenings and corruptions, of tragedy and loss, as Jamie slowly discovers the extent to which Fawn will use anything and anyone to further her own ends—and recognizes, perhaps too late, her own complicity in the disaster that takes shape around them.
About the Author
Paula McLain received an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan, and has been a resident of Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. She is the author of two collections of poetry and a memoir, and lives in Cleveland with her family.