Friday, July 11, 2014
September Girls by Bennett Madison
If you like: the ocean * summer * secrets
September Girls is the story of the mysterious and beautiful girls that inhabit the shore-side town where Sam, his brother, and his father go for the summer. Everywhere he turns, Sam is surrounded by unnaturally beautiful women who seems to be paying extra attention to him. Over the course of the summer, he and his brother, Jeff, get to know a couple of them and get a tiny glimpse into the deeper mystery they are enshrouded in. Their summer on the Outer Banks is almost an anachronism in the modern world, but instead of standing out only manages to fully capture the effervescent feeling of the breezy shore.
Sam is a teenager in the space between, and is a perfect fit for the beaches at Seashell Shoals. Since his mother left, his life has been ambiguous. With his brother away at school, and his father something of a lost soul, he has been on his own at a difficult time to be in that position. After first, going away for the summer with his father and brother to a place with no connection to back home seems like it will be a nightmare. In his initial wanderings, Sam discovers there is something unspoken about Seashell Shoals, and it most definitely not what he expected. Sam is guided by the decision to say yes, and go along with plans even when he would rather avoid strangers and gregarious crowds. This desire to reluctantly be a part of something allows him to meet the Girls who will forever change him. Over the course of a few weeks he goes from a teen with no idea of who he will become, to one who recognizes himself for who he will be and what is important.
The Girls are the type of enigmatic, romanticized creatures that legends are made of. A coastal hideaway, filled with beautiful, friendly women is the kind of place that only exists in the dreams of the young. Though at first glance they are there to party without care, the Girls are much, much more than that. Trapped in a place they cannot choose, the Girls live out each summer with the hope that they will find the way to break free and escape their fate. As is always the case, it is just when you stop looking that you are able to find what you have always wanted. The Girls are kindreds, rivals, caretakers, and competitors at the same time. A little bit Siren and a little bit Harpy, they seek to change their own destiny by using others. This is not their choice, or truly their decision. Those who try to escape by other means are never the same, and never seem to achieve the freedom they dream of. In the end, their freedom only comes when they accept their curse, and learn where their true home is.
If you have forgotten how to swim, read September Girls.
Madison, Bennett. September Girls. HarperTeen, 2013. Epub edition.