Black Cat · books · fiction · Friday · Uncategorized

Friday, friendship and betrayal…

A Black Cat Book Review

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

Victoria Leonard and Caitlin Somers met in the sixth grade in Santa Fe.  Two different girls from two very different families and backgrounds.  Victoria, Vix, is the daughter of hard-working parents who never seem to have enough of anything, time, money, love, and too many demands.  Vix is quiet, thoughtful, and always careful.  She has learned to keep what she thinks and feels to herself.  Caitlin, however, is the out-spoken wild child of wealthy divorced parents.  In the winter she lives with her mother and in the summer with her father.  She rarely thinks before speaking and always says what she thinks.

As unlikely as it seems Caitlin asks Vix to spend the summer with her at her father’s home on Martha’s Vineyard.  They become summer friends…summer sisters.  Every summer until they graduate from high school they spend together on the island.  As cautious as Vix is she follows the reckless Caitlin living a much different life during the summer than she does at home in Santa Fe.

Over the years Vix grows up, plans for the future, and falls in love.  During their last summer together on the island Caitlin’s secrets and deception take a toll on the friendship.  Though they remain friends it is not the same.  Caitlin doesn’t change but Vix has been hurt and is wary of Caitlin .

Vix graduates from Harvard, with help from Caitlin’s parents, and pursues a career.  She is determined to move on from that last summer at the Vineyard and have a successful life, a good life.  Caitlin travels the world in search of thrills and excitement.  When she finally finds some stability and purpose in her life she is shattered by death and  returns to the Vineyard home of her father.  Once again she asks Vix to come to the island…and once again she breaks Vix’s heart.

In an exploration of family and friendship, love and betrayal, Blume brings to the reader a story that asks; what are the boundaries of friendship and love and can forgiveness heal a heart damaged by betrayal? 

The book is transparent in some areas; the self-destruction of Caitlin and Vix’s need to be confident and successful.  But there are layers that as they are peeled away reveal depths of despair and longing that are compelling.  The parents of both girls come and go throughout the story but are essential to understanding Vix and Caitlin.

I enjoyed the book–it is a good read.  I recommend it with the warning that it is “chick lit”.

memories · Monday · musings · Uncategorized

Monday, we had more fun…

When I was a kid we did not have all the tech toys kids do today.  We did not sit around much and we certainly wouldn’t think of spending the day in the house.  Even in the winter we went out to play in the snow.  In the summer we would leave the house early and come back for lunch then be gone again until supper and then out again until dark.  In winter we spent less time outside because of the cold but most days there would be some time spent in the fresh air of the out-of-doors.


Austin shoveling snow
Image by oddharmonic via Flickr

Winter time we made snow forts and had snowball fights, we went sledding, and made snow angels.  Of course, we also shoveled snow off the driveway and sidewalks.  Shoveling snow was expected of us, it was our job, and no, we did not get paid for it.  After all, we were sheltered and clothed and fed for free, the least we could do was shovel a little snow.  Or so we were told by the rulers of our worlds, our parents.
Summer was the greatest fun time! Oh, we had chores in summer, too.  Cutting the grass and raking and weeding were the biggies.  Truth is that was fun too because we did it with our friends and even the chores became games.  We played all sorts of games; tag, hide and seek, spud, we jumped rope, hopscotched, biked, played cowboys and Indians, and fort.  We spent time exploring the neighborhood and nature.  Sometimes we would lay in the grass and watch the clouds, finding all sorts of images in them.  At night we would watch for shooting stars and often saw them.  Lots of wishes were made on those falling stars.

Bike rides and freedom
Image by Maddy Lou via Flickr

We rode our bikes a lot.  I rarely see a kid riding a bike anymore.  Or if they are riding they are with a parent or other adult.  I guess in today’s world it is not safe to let children ride and roam and explore by themselves.  So sad.  They are missing out on so much.  Not just fun, but the time to daydream and think about what is important and what is not, the freeedom to figure things out.  They miss out on the pure exhilaration of being who they are without adult restraints.

I think that I am glad I was a kid when I was.  The world did not seem so scary and I think we laughed more.  Life was not perfect but I think kids of my generation had more fun then the kids do today.