Monday, January 12, 2009

The Summer Before by Patricia Windsor


The Summer Before by Patricia Windsor


This book is about a young girl, Sandy, who is going through a very tough and emotionally-wrecking time as she tries to get over the death of her best friend, Bradley.


The author doesn't tell exactly what happens until much later in the book, but she drops hints every few chapters until I almost died of curiosity.


Everyone knows I'm more curious than a cat, and mysteries like these always make me want to read the book faster so that I can find out what happens.


The truth is, what happened really isn't all that mysterious, and the mystery really isn't what makes me love this book. The beauty of this book is in the way it is written and in the way the author sees inside the heart and mind of a young girl who is suffering from so much pain and guilt over the loss of her best friend and then finally finds the strength to move on and live again.


Another thing I liked about the book is the strange and beautiful relationship between Sandy and Bradley. Although we get an idea of who Bradley was and how interesting and wonderful he was from Sandy's thoughts and recollections about him, and even fall in love with the person we think he was, later on we wonder if we really knew him at all.


I think ultimately, what I love most about this book, is the way it subtly forces us to see things in perspective. Does it really matter what other people think about us? Or if we're wearing clothes that are out of fashion and don't fit in at school? Or if you're doing things that people disapprove of and getting into trouble for it?


In the light of death, all these doesn't matter. We should be living for ourselves, not for the approval of other people. Bradley teaches us that early on, and Sandy finally learns this lesson at the end.


Template by:

Free Blog Templates