Synopses & Reviews
It's the summer of 1942. At her grandparents' island cottage in Michigan, 14–year–old Belle excitedly awaits the arrival of her exotic older cousin, Carolyn. Belle's expecting worldly sophistication and French style. But Carolyn brings much more than that: she carries the troubling reality of the World War that is ravaging her home. Turtle Island will never be the same again.
Set against the backdrop of breezy island cottages, this heartrending tale from National Book Award medalist Gloria Whelan is the story of a beautiful place and a special friendship–and how events thousands of miles away shaped them both.
"Fourteen-year-old narrator Mirabelle and her three siblings spend every summer at their grandparents' island cottage off of Michigan's upper peninsula. But 1942's tumult (in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor) takes its toll. Belle's mother has resumed her medical career, and her father takes a seven-day-a-week job supervising production of B24s for the Air Force: neither will be joining the children this summer. Belle's longstanding crush, Ned, talks about enlisting in the Navy when he turns 18 next spring. And Belle's family changes forever when 15-year-old cousin Caroline, her widowed diplomat father dispatched to London, arrives at their cottage, where she's been sent to be out of harm's way. Whelan's (The Turning) title hints at the book's double entendre, the conflict both global and personal that Belle and her family face. Angry and prone to airs fostered by her pampered Parisian childhood, Carrie resists both the earnest efforts of her cousins and the order Grandpa imposes on the family. She schemes to escape the isolation of island life, with near-disastrous results. Belying the emotional drama, Belle's narrative relates the rift that Carrie causes, with an equanimity more nostalgic than of-the-moment. While the family is deeply affected by Carrie even more so after learning of her father's death the island's flora and fauna, its storms and calm, mitigate and soothe everyone's distress. Even Carrie, replicating the garden that her mother had detailed in a long-ago summer journal, finds solace and renewal as summer ends. Ages 10-up. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Set in 1942 against the backdrop of breezy island cottages in Michigan, this heartrending tale from a National Book Award winning author tells the story of a beautiful place and a special friendship, and how events thousands of miles away shape them both.
About the Author
National Book Award-winning author Gloria Whelan crafts a richly textured story about one young woman's will to control her own fate. Ms. Whelan is the best-selling author of many novels for young readers, including Homeless Bird, winner of the National Book Award; Listening for Lions; and Summer of the War. She lives in northern Michigan.