Synopses & Reviews
A friendship transcends distance and time
Ollie is a great whistler, while Lucrezia cant whistle at all. Ollie has traveled the world, but Lucrezia is afraid of the dark and hates goodbyes. Yet, despite their differences, Ollie and Lucrezia have been best friends forever. When Ollie is eight, he moves from Rome to Milan, and Lucrezia feels as though her world has ended. But their friendship blooms, against the backdrop of beloved family and beloved places, until their thirteenth summer together, when a change in plans alters Lucrezias life forever.
Narrated by Lucrezia, this haunting novel exquisitely captures through vivid language and sense of place both the beauty and enduring nature of human relationships. Set in modern-day Italy, this is a book about journeys to places new and old, toward self-discovery, toward adulthood, and toward things bigger than ourselves.
"Italian teenagers Ollie and Lou (short for Lucrezia) have known each other forever, exchanging 'telepathic messages in the womb' when their mothers were simultaneously pregnant. Despite Ollie's move from Rome to Milan at age 8, the families remain close, with yearly vacations to Lou's grandparents' beach house. Sixteen-year-old Lou narrates this story about the summer she and Ollie were 13, the 'summer that shouldn't have been.' It begins with Nonna insisting Ollie sleep in a separate room for the first time. Lou has sprouted breasts, and admits to new, confused feelings for her former playmate. Further muddling her thoughts is brash, handsome Martin, a Parisian teen visiting his obnoxiously rich grandparents, who've just bought the house next door. Teen girls will readily identify with Lou's roiling emotions-disgust that Martin flirts with another girl, but not her; fear that Ollie will find someone else to spend time with. Fans of Henkes's Olive's Ocean might also like Banks's (Dillon, Dillon) artful examination of a girl's coming-of-age, except for the tone of dread that hangs over the story like a black cloud at the beach. Lou refers to Ollie in the past tense on page one, and even Ollie's mother's surname-Angelini or 'little angel'-portends his doom. Tragedy does strike, but it is so inorganic to prior events (the languid afternoons picking plums and pears from an orchard, sailing to a cove for a picnic lunch) that it unfortunately does not pack much emotional punch. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Through the openness of the narrative, readers will engage with Lou's adolescent musings, rendered in such precisely fine prose - and in such a gloriously realized setting." -- The Horn Book "Elegant. A beautifully written piece about a last summer with a beloved friend." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "The relationships of a group of vacationing friends and a loving, multigenerational family in Italy are described in both warm sensory waves nd with a colder, steady current of psychological analysis." -- Kirkus Reviews "Banks gives equal attention to the creation of a very real friendship with which many middle grade readers will identify. Will be especially popular with fans of both Katherine Paterson and Cynthia Voigt." -- VOYA "In poetic, evocative language, Banks creates a wholly absorbing story . . . will resonate strongly." -- Booklist "This is an awesome book." --A YALSA Teen YA Galley Reader
Set in Italy, this book takes readers on a journey to places new and old, toward self-discovery and adulthood, and explores the enduring nature of human relationships. Separated when one family moves, childhood friends rekindle their friendship five years later.
About the Author
is the author of Dillon Dillon; Walk Softly, Rachel,
a School Library Journal
Best Book of the Year; and many awardwinning picture books. She lives in the South of France.