Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blueberry Summer (1956)

Blueberry Summer
Elisabeth Ogilvie
1956, Whittlesey House
(edition shown: Tab Books, Scholastic)

She was seeing herself, or rather a version of herself that no one had ever seen, wearing the charcoal Bermuda shorts and the pink Italian-style shirt; the short yellow shorts and the strapless sun bra; the white-satin swimming suit against which her tan would have a warm rich glow.

16-year-old Cassandra Phillips, sitting on her bed in her parents' Maine farmhouse and dreaming over a catalog of new clothes, has no way of knowing her promised summer working as a waitress on Makinic is dissolving. Her glamorous older sister has broken a leg, triggering a chain of events that traps Cass at home to milk the cow, oversee the blueberry fields and wrangle her rambunctious 8-year-old brother Peter.

But being home all summer has advantages. A handsome older boy, Adam, arrives, and then a lazy artist who promises to fulfill Cass's dreams of a romance. There are problems too - the shiftless but friendly Blackwell clan become suspects in a string of lobster-trap robberies and a deer-jacking, and tourists wander into the blueberry fields.

Overall, an interesting and well-written book with an appealing heroine. Her silliness about her artist neighbor is painful but realistic, and her love-hate relationship with her little brother rings true. Even the slightly too-good-to-be-true love interest is realistic and likable.

Other books (for teens)

The Fabulous Year
Whistle for a Wind
How Wide the Heart
The Young Islanders
Becky's Islands
Turn Around Twice
Ceiling of Amber
Masquerade at Sea House
The Pigeon Pair
Come Aboard and Bring Your Dory!
Beautiful Girl
Too Young To Know
My Summer Love

About the author

A prolific writer, she was the author of over forty books, many set on the coast of Maine.

Obituary in the Boston Globe
Obituary in the New York Times