cover image The Mending Summer

The Mending Summer

Ali Standish. HarperCollins, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-298565-1

One July morning, white 12-year-old Georgia is informed that she will be spending the summer on her mysterious great-aunt Marigold’s farm. Her overburdened mother is studying hard for a biology degree, and her beloved father is becoming the Shadow Man—Georgia’s nickname for him when she can “[smell] the drink on his breath”—with alarming frequency. At first, only child Georgia is intensely lonely in rural North Carolina with her taciturn aunt, who has secrets of her own. But soon Georgia finds a pristine lake and a hazel-eyed neighbor girl named Angela on its banks. While skipping stones from an island in the lake, the fast friends discover the lake grants wishes, and the duo subsequently enjoy a summer blizzard and other impossible adventures. But the lake isn’t infallible, and Georgia realizes that her family needs more than magic to mend her broken heart. Standish (How to Disappear Completely) skillfully portrays the uncertainty and powerlessness of Georgia’s home situation; the magic at the heart of this understated tale offers its protagonist escape and healing, as well as the understanding that wishing is insufficient to change difficult circumstances. Ages 8–12. [em]Agents: Sarah Davies and Polly Nolan, Greenhouse Literary. (May) [/em]