Synopses & Reviews
When Lise's mom is badly injured in a car accident, Mom rents a house on the beach in Maine for the summer, not far from where she grew up. Lise's going to have to learn to go with the flow--or risk falling apart--in the dramatic climax to this tender, funny, and wise first novel.
"Jones makes an impressive debut with this sensitively wrought novel about family love and adjustments to change. Twelve-year-old Lise lives with her career-oriented mother and her five-year-old brother, Free, who is a 'selective mute.' The three of them have gotten along fine without a father (who left when he learned of her mother's second pregnancy), until Lise's mother is seriously injured in an automobile accident. Returning home from the hospital unable to work or even walk, Lise's fiercely independent mother decides to take her family on a summer vacation to the remote island in Maine where she grew up. Lise's brother loves the ocean and her mother seems to gain strength from it, but Lise can't overcome her fear of the icy water until another resident of the island, an 'ancient' Native American named Ben, teaches her an important lesson about accepting the ocean's power. Throughout the novel, the author's understated prose beautifully captures Lise's distress about being uprooted ('Like dominoes in time, a single event kicked off an unstoppable series of changes that gained momentum and spun out of control,' Lise says, describing her upheaval), as well as her insight into her father's departure and her coming to terms with a new life in Maine. Readers will quickly become absorbed in Lise's conflicts, which include a physical battle of survival during a nail-biting climax set during a hurricane. Ages 10-14." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Kimberly K. Jones is the author of Sand Dollar Summer, which earned two starred reviews, was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, and was chosen by Booklist as one of the Top Ten First Novels for Youth. She lives in Monkton, Vermont. Visit her online at kimberlykjones.com.