The Best Summer of Our Lives

Bethany House. Jun. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780764240973. pap. $17.99. CF
“The Four Seasons” have been best friends their whole lives—each girl named after a different season and brought together by fate. The summer of 1977 was supposed to be their best yet, with a planned European vacation, until an impulsive prank (filling the university pool with car-wash soap) earns them a punishment of community service at a rundown Oklahoma summer camp. In the face of multiple tragedies, including a gruesome murder at a nearby Girl Scout camp, each comes of age carrying secrets. Looking back, these four creative women can still trace many of their failures and insecurities to that fateful summer. Told from the perspectives of the four teenage girls in 1977 and the same women full of regrets 20 years later, Hauck’s (The Fifth Avenue Story Society) latest brings her trademark mystical encounters with the divine to a convoluted storyline.
VERDICT Themes about the endurance of friendship and the ability to come home give readers plenty to think about, and those nostalgic for childhood summers will enjoy this novel.
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