cover image Perennials


Mandy Berman. Random House, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-58931-7

Berman entices readers with this coming-of-age tale of two girls. Rachel Rivkin and Fiona Larkin have been friends ever since they met at Camp Marigold, a summer camp in Connecticut. They come from very different backgrounds: Rachel, the product of her mother’s affair with a married man, lives in New York City, while Fiona and her siblings live a life of plenty in Westchester—though their parents seem to be drifting apart. But Camp Marigold is the one place that never seems to change as the girls enjoy freedom from their everyday lives and the ability to make their own decisions. When they return to the camp as counselors during their college years, Rachel keeps secrets from Fiona, something she has not done before. Rachel’s reluctance to share those secrets with Fiona is a blow to their friendship, especially when Fiona’s family suffers a devastating loss. This story of facing life’s difficulties is most memorable because of Berman’s excellently crafted, multifaceted characters. (June)