Shannon Greenland. The Summer My Life Began. New York: Speak, 2012.

summerElizabeth Margaret (“Em”) has her whole life in front of her–and every step of it has been mapped out by her high-achieving, status-seeking parents and maternal grandmother.   Advanced placement classes in high school, admission to Harvard, summer internships at dad’s law firm, a career in law or medicine.  Em and her sister Gwenny laugh at their parents’ pretensions but neither girl dares to jump off the path that their parents have charted for them.  But they do dream about it.

Em sees a chance to step off the treadmill for at least a few weeks when she receives an invitation to spend the summer with her Aunt Tilly on the Outer Banks.  The invitation unsettles Em’s mother and grandmother.   Aunt Tilly has never been mentioned by either woman.  After phone calls back and forth between Boston and the Outer Banks, a compromise is reached: Em can go south for a month, but she must come back to Boston to spend the second half of her summer vacation at the law firm.

Em doesn’t know what to expect, but she’s up for whatever it is. Or maybe not.  Aunt Tilly is as fun loving as her parents are uptight; the staff at the B&B that Aunt Tilly owns are like a family; Em gets a chance to practice her culinary skills; and there are not one but two handsome boys to hangout with.  But as Em spends time with her aunt and the B&B staff she learns how each got to this place, and not all the stories are happy ones.  Parents die, children are separated from their families, and not everyone who has a child is ready to be a parent.  This summer on the Outer Banks will change Em’s life forever.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

1 Comment

Filed under 2012, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Greenland, Shannon

One Response to Shannon Greenland. The Summer My Life Began. New York: Speak, 2012.

  1. What an interesting read! Even though I’m a guy I found myself relating to Em a lot in my own life… Thank you for recommending this to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>