As comforting and familiar as a favorite sweater, Viola Shipman’s novels never fail to deliver a heartfelt story of friendship and familty, encapsulating summer memories in every page. Fans of Dorthea Benton Frank and Nancy Thayer will love this new story about three childhood friends approaching middle age, determined to rediscover the dreams that made them special as campers in 1985.
Elizabeth, Veronica, Rachel and Emily met at Camp Birchwood as girls in 1985, where they called themselves The Clover Girls (after their cabin name). The years following that magical summer pulled them in very different directions and, now approaching middle age, the women are facing new challenges: the inevitable physical changes that come with aging, feeling invisible to society, disinterested husbands, surley teens, and losing their sense of self.
Then, Elizabeth, Veronica and Rachel each receive a letter from Emily – she has cancer and, knowing it’s terminal, reaches out to the girls who were her best friends once upon a time and implores them to reunite at Camp Birchwood to scatter her ashes. When the three meet at the property for the first time in what feels like a lifetime, another letter from Emily awaits, explaining that she has purchased the abandoned camp, and now it belongs to them – at Emily’s urging, they must spend a week together remembering the dreams they’d put aside, and find a way to become the women they always swore they’d grow up to be. Through flashbacks to their youthful summer, we see the four friends then and now, rebuilding their lives, flipping a middle finger to society’s disdain for aging women, and with a renewed purpose to find themselves again.
Elizabeth, Veronica, Emily and Rachel become fast friends in their youth. They met at camp and called themselves The Clover Girls. They were inseparable until life pulled them apart. Now, Emily is determined to bring them back together after her cancer diagnosis. She wants The Clover Girls to scatter her ashes at their old camp. However, it may take more than Emily’s dying wish to bring them back together.
I enjoyed the time period of the ‘80s. I even laughed out loud about the Reliant K car. I had an Dodge Aries K and it had its quirks too. And the music references! Made the whole book for me. However, I am not a huge fan of some of the characters. I found them a little selfish and whiny. But, that is part of this story. These young women grow up and become strong ladies and they discover life is not what they thought it would be. They need each other!
Need a good book about aging and friendship…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
About the Author
Viola Shipman is the pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his writing. Rouse is the author of The Summer Cottage, as well as The Charm Bracelet and The Hope Chest which have been translated into more than a dozen languages and become international bestsellers. He lives in Saugatuck, Michigan and Palm Springs, California, and has written for People, Coastal Living, Good Housekeeping, and Taste of Home, along with other publications, and is a contributor to All Things Considered.
Author Website: https://www.violashipman.com/