The Clover Girls

Graydon House. May 2021. 416p. ISBN 9781525896002. pap. $16.99. F
Elizabeth (Liz), Veronica (V), Emily (Em), and Rachel (Rach) were best friends—the Clover Girls—in the late 1980s, when they spent every summer together at a Camp Birchwood in northern Michigan. Today, 30-plus years later, they are virtual strangers. Their youthful friendship was tainted by an immature undermining of one another, fueled by secrets, jealousies, and hurt feelings. As adults, they couldn’t be more different. V is an aging supermodel with a failing marriage; Rach works for misogynistic politicians; and Liz cares for her dying mother and sells homes on Lake Michigan, instead of following her passion for design. When Em dies, the other Clover Girls honor her dying wish that they return to Camp Birchwood to reconnect and revive their beloved camp. That will mean putting aside past and current hurt, confronting the stagnation in their lives, and learning to celebrate their passions and each other.
VERDICT Shipman’s (The Heirloom Garden) evocative novel is a love letter to Michigan summers, past and present, and to the value of lifelong friendships. A blissful summer read sure to please the author’s many fans, and fans of writers like Elin Hilderbrand or Kristin Hannah.
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