Summer is ready to embark on an amazing summer in France, visiting her artist father in his home in Provence. Before she boards the plane, her phone rings. In Two Summers, Aimee Friedman takes the reader on two journeys: the story of what happens if Summer answers the phone and hears her father tell her not to get on the plane and the story of what happens if Summer doesn’t answer the call and travels to her father’s home in France. In alternating sections showing Summer’s life at home and Summer’s life in France, Summer faces crucial teenage tribulations: her coming-of-age as an artist, her friendship troubles, her romantic involvements, and revelations about her family and her place within it.
Friedman easily moves between these two parallel universes with ease and without confusion. Summer’s character is well defined and will be relatable to teenagers trying to work out their places in relationships, romantic and otherwise. Through a pair of situations, Friedman shows that it is the person and not the circumstance that determine the emotional lessons we must learn. While Summer’s conclusions about these emotional lessons are sometimes sentimentalizing, they are always heartfelt.
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