How would you like to spend the summer on the coast of Maine with your extended family? Imagine that you're only thirteen, an only child, and the youngest of your ten cousins; what would you do to fit in with the other kids? Richard Killing has at least one trait his Hatfield cousins like: He is an expert eavesdropper. What will Richard do with the information he acquires?
The summer when I was thirteen years old changed everything for me. Looking back on it now, I can fill in the gaps with what I learned later, but at the time it seemed like a story unto itself, and that is the way I want to tell it. When I got back to school in September, I thought to myself, "I've been through hell this past month, and not one of you knows a godamn thing about it." I'd picked up swearing that summer, but it wasn't the worst thing I had picked up, and it wasn't the most lasting. What I like to remember best are the mornings in Uncle Kurt's room when he would regale me with tales of the war. But what I remember most vividly is a bright patch of flames surrounding something so horrible I couldn't bear to look at it. That comes at the end. I will take my time getting there.—Shorecliff by Ursula DeYoung (Hachette Book Group / Little, Brown, 2013, p. 1)
- Setting: Maine coast; family vacation home; summer 1928
- Circumstances: Richard Killing spends the summer with his maternal relatives; Richard is somewhat withdrawn and finds it easy to learn people's secrets and listen in on their conversations; when secrets are exposed, life is changed
- Characters: Richard, 13 years old; his mother and father; his aunts and their husbands; his ten cousins, aged 21 to 13
- Genre: general fiction; historical fiction
- Themes & plot lines: secrets; family; marriages; siblings; extended family; America before the Depression; love; loyalty
- Miscellaneous: Author DeYoung's debut novel
Doesn't Shorecliff sound great? I love the coastal Maine setting, the time period, and the family themes (and secrets). I've only just started this, but I'm already intrigued. Thanks to Little, Brown (who will be mailing the books) I'm able to give away a copy of Ursula DeYoung's debut novel to two of my readers. To be eligible for this giveaway, you must have a US or Canada mailing address. Just fill out the form and I'll pick two winners via random number generator on August 10. Once the winners are confirmed, I'll erase all personal data from my computer. Good luck!
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