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I ordered a used copy which said very good, so I was expecting very good. It came and there was a mark on the front from a sticker and a sticker on the back which left another mark when took off-the book itself is good though, I can read everything and seeing as I only paid two or three pounds opposed to six it was worth it-maybe not good for a present though.
I read this book after hearing a lot about it and all the good reviews it had been given. It has been the best book i've read in a long time. The characters were so real and you warm to Evie straight away. An extremely good read. Would definately recommend it.
Judy Blundell's novel about a young girl's journey to self-discovery, love, and learning about being an adult and how to deal with her family is poignant and rich in hard life lessons that's enveloped in a believeable post-WWII world. Her main character, Evie Spooner is likeable but far from perfect, making her very, very relatable. For the crushing, moving lessons it felivers, Blundell manages to keep the tone from becoming too dark, too forbidding, or even too depressing, despite the weighty issues she explores.
I read this novel for a class discussion and was impressed. Neither I nor my classmates had heard of it before, which is odd considering the high accolade is bears on its front cover.
I would consider this a great read for the tween-to-YA age-group, though for the younger readers I would suggest the parent give it a go first, as it does deal with issues of sexuality, among other serious issues (no spoilers, no spoilers!).
Reading this novel felt like a trip back in time, honestly, as the novel is written so perfectly in that tone of YA novels from decades past. If your young reader dislikes Twilight-style narrative, this might be more up his or her alley. On that note, I'm a 27 year old and I enjoyed the novel; it was a quick read (two sittings for me) but very satisfying in a way that few books these days seem to be. I couldn't put it down, despite picking it up almost as a chore for my class. While I recommend it highly, it's not something I can see myself coming back to again and again, thus only 4/5 stars from myself.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 December 2009
Set in the US just after WWII, this book is narrated by 15yr old Evie Spooner. She is the only child of devastatingly beautiful Beverley Spooner and a loving stepfather, Joe. Joe has a chain of appliance stores, reaping the new-found wealth of Americans after the war, however, it seems there are question marks over how he raised the money for them. Unexpectedly he takes Evie and her mother on a holiday to Florida, a four day drive from their home in Queens. This is an opportunity for Evie to blossom, to experience first love - but all is not as it seems. The young GI, Peter Coleridge, who sweeps Evie off her feet, is formerly from Joe's platoon. He seems to know a lot more about Joe than Joe is happy with. Everything comes to a head as a furious typhoon sweeps the coast, reaping chaos and mayhem over the whole area and irrevocably changing Evie's life.
All the characters are beautifully drawn, Evie, a teenager desperate to make the jump into adulthood but in many ways very naive, her mother, a Marilyn Monroe look-alike, the salesman step-father, plus several other guests at the hotel. Unfortunately I didn't feel the court case presented a true test of Evie's allegiancies, though I'd spoil the plot if I explained why. Definitely a good read but not quite 5 stars.
The cover is striking - a flyleaf depicting a young Evie from the 40's and an inner cover showing her beautiful mother - a woman of her time.