The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
A group of young girls descend on Camp Forevermore, a sleepaway camp in the Pacific Northwest, where their days are filled with swimming lessons, friendship bracelets, and camp songs by the fire. Filled with excitement and nervous energy, they set off on an overnight kayaking trip to a nearby island. But before the night is over, they find themselves stranded, with no adults to help them survive or guide them home.
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore traces these five girls—Nita, Andee, Isabel, Dina, and Siobhan—through and beyond this fateful trip. We see them through successes and failures, loving relationships and heartbreaks; we see what it means to find, and define, oneself, and the ways in which the same experience is refracted through different people. In diamond-sharp prose, Kim Fu gives us a portrait of friendship and of the families we build for ourselves—and the pasts we can't escape.
Praise For The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore…
“Before embarking on an overnight kayaking trip, five girls at a camp in the Pacific Northwest sing, ‘And I shall love my sisters / for-ev-er-more.’ The camp promises a vision of wholesome sisterhood that seems unaware of the complexities of young girls’ lives, a vision Kim Fu skillfully complicates in her new novel, The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore...[Kim Fu] is a propulsive storyteller, using clear and cutting prose to move seamlessly through time….In the one-way glass of the novel, we watch the girls of Forevermore from a series of angles, in all their private anguishes. We lean closer, unable to turnaway.”
—Lisa Ko, New York Times Book Review
"A gripping survival story about the lives of six diverse women...The fascinating thing about the book is clocking the ways this traumatic experience in the woods touches each woman's life...Though the tragedy and subsequent fallout at Camp Forevermore affected each woman's life differently, and though their lives diverge as often as they intertwine, they share a resilience Fu embeds into the structure of her sentences. She builds them short, clean, and straightforward. This consistency gives her the ability to drop an extremely intense image or profound line out of nowhere, create convincing cliff-hangers, or slowly increase the stakes of a scene until you feel like a frog in suddenly boiling water. But the great achievement of the novel is the way Fu renders her characters. These portraits of sisterhood, motherhood, daughterhood, wifehood, girlfriendhood, independent womanhood, and other female-identified-hoods sing and groan and scream with complexity and nuance, and they make me want to read her next ten books."
"Fu is a poet and essayist, and her evocative and well-crafted writing makes The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore a quick yet deep read."
"The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore is a sensitive, evocative exploration of how the past threads itself through our lives, reemerging in unexpected ways. Kim Fu skillfully measures how long and loudly one formative moment can reverberate."
—Celeste Ng, bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere
"So beautifully done, so thoughtful....Each voice is so present & distinct. I would read another book just like it if I could."
—BookRiot, The Podcast
"Fu's characters are rich, real, and distinct...With rawness and objectivity, Fu depicts the women these girls become along with their struggles, both cosmic and mundane...An ambitious and dynamic portrayal of the harm humans—even young girls—can do."
"Sharp...Readers will delight in the complicated, brash, ugly, and sincere presentation of Fu’s characters."
"For readers interested in evolving friendships and stories that move forward and backward in time, this book is sure to be a hit."
—Bookish, "Winter 2018 Fiction Preview"
"A vivid and haunting story of lives interrupted by tragedy. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore maps the journey from girlhood to womanhood, radiating both nostalgia and hope."
—Hala Alyan, author of Salt Houses
“The five characters in Kim Fu's dark, deftly woven fable align and disperse like planets, bound in their separate orbits to a shared and perhaps definitive moment in time. Fu traces those orbits with a master astronomer's care and keen observation, mapping in strikingly clear and rich prose a hidden universe of girlhood and becoming.”
—Michelle Orange, author of This Is Running for Your Life
“Kim Fu has woven a story both expansive and intimate, charting the ways that five women who meet briefly as children will ultimately haunt one another for a lifetime. As in her first novel, she writes with a fierce, unflinching clarity about the myriad small guilts, cruelties, frailties, and betrayals we all carry with us. This book is one you won’t soon forget."
—Angelica Baker, author of Our Little Racket
"A startling and clear-sighted examination of the way a single event between children can become a galaxy of trauma, fate, and wonder that spins all the way through adulthood. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore is a thoroughly compelling story, and Kim Fu is an assured and intelligent guide."
—Arna Bontemps Hemenway, author of Elegy on Kinderklavier
“I devoured The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore. Kim Fu lovingly circles around girlhood and womanhood, following the threads that connect old traumas to new ones, and the hurts that shape us, even when we wish they wouldn’t. This is a novel that contains everything anyone could ever want: heartbreak, sly humour, bear cubs, and Fu’s wise and steady hand to make sense of it all.”
—Jen Sookfong Lee, author of The Conjoined
“Stunning. Kim Fu explores the lifelong ripple effects of tragedy, writing with wit, heart and precision. A cast of characters both flawed and fascinating. I was utterly transfixed by this book.”
—Katrina Onstad, author of Everybody Has Everything
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780544098268, 256pp.
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
About the Author
KIM FU is the author of the novel For Today I Am a Boy, which won the Edmund White Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Lambda Literary Award, and was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Fu is also the author of the poetry collection How Festive the Ambulance. She lives in Seattle, Washington.