Gwen’s close Portuguese immigrant family has served the summer resort trade for two generations, and she’s afraid she and her classmates may be yet another. All of her classmates except handsome Cass, exiled from a fancy private school, that is. Gwen tries to avoid Cass as she works in her father’s small restaurant, helps her mother clean houses, spends time as paid companion to a wealthy but frail widow. But Cass seems unavoidable, her parents are living out the tensions of marrying too young, her little brother’s disabilities weigh on her attention, her cousin and best friend are all but engaged at 18, and catering to clueless plutocrats is demeaning – as are the racy rumors of her prior summer relationships.
Yes, it’s a summer romance — but it’s so much more. Fitzpatrick weaves everything together so gracefully: economic goals and opportunities, a little brother with disabilities, plenty of humor, the purposes of marriage, ethnic and cultural divisions, aging, more humor, athletics, and above all, life in a beach community. Readers who love Sarah Dessen will be delighted to discover Huntley Fitzpatrick.