Diane Chamberlain. Summer’s Child. Don Mills, Ontario: MIRA, 2010.

Daria Cato thought of Rory Taylor as her best friend.  Their family had summer houses on the same cul-de-sac in Kill Devil Hills.  Daria and Rory would run on the beach together and play all kinds of games. Rory, three years older than Daria, told himself that he was “letting”  Daria win, but she was a spirited and feisty child who could hold her own against her fun-loving playmate. But when Rory became a teenager, their relationship changed.  Daria developed a crush on Rory just as Rory gravitated to friends his own age.

Daria briefly had Rory’s attention–and everyone else’s–the morning of her eleventh birthday when she found a newborn baby on the beach.  This shocking event had the community abuzz for weeks.  When the baby’s mother could not be found, Daria’s parents adopted the child.  As the girl, Shelly, grew, it was evident that the circumstances of her birth affected her development.  Daria, always protective of Shelly, moved with Shelly back to the Outer Banks since that is where Shelly is most at ease.  At twenty, Shelly works for the local Catholic Church, and Daria is a carpenter and EMT.  It’s a comfortable, if not joyful, life that Shelly upsets when she contacts Rory, now the producer of a hit television series, True Life Stories. Shelley wants Rory to uncover the truth about her birth.

Rory’s arrival back in Kill Devil Hills unsettles Daria, her sister Chloe, and other locals.  Daria worries that Shelly will not be able to absorb the truth, if Rory finds it, but Daria should be worried about herself.  Daria is struggling with guilt over a failed rescue and with sadness at the end of a long-term romance.  Daria needs someone to confide in, but those closest to her have secrets to hide–both in the past and the present. Those secrets eventually come out but the passage of time allows most of the characters to forgive the mistakes of youth–their own and others.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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