The Lake Effect

Erin McCahan. Dial, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4052-5
Eighteen-year-old Briggs Henry spends the summer after his high school graduation in South Haven, Mich., as live-in help for a strong-willed 84-year-old Serbian widow, Mrs. Bozic, in this elegant and touching coming-of-age story. Briggs is well aware of his family’s high expectations for him (“We achieved. We catalogued our successes, and we never needed our hair cut”) and has big plans for his own future: namely becoming a successful lawyer who never has to worry about money. His summer with Mrs. B—which includes funeral crashing, encounters with a secretive neighbor named Abigail, and revelations about his family—prompts Briggs to reexamine his goals and his definition of happiness. As chronicled by McCahan (Love and Other Foreign Words), Briggs’s growth is realistically sobering, and many readers will identify with his increasing awareness of his own markers of success. Briggs’s genuine relationship with Mrs. B and her words of wisdom from a life well lived are heartwarming, illustrating the ways that family can expand beyond blood. Ages 12–up. Agent: Faye Bender, the Book Group. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/08/2017
Release date: 07/11/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 978-0-14-750960-4
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