An American Summer (Paperback)
Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781402200595, 256pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2003
Set in the nostalgic year of 1955, this touching novel reveals a unique kind of love between kindred spirits. It is told through the voice of 14-year-old Christy Banister, a sweet, slightly naive young boy in need of guidance as he makes his way through adolescence. He has moved to Baltimore with his father, and as the new kid on the block in an isolated new neighborhood, Christy has few opportunities to make new friends.
At the start of the summer, Christy meets 23-year-old Kathryn Slade. Once a beautiful young woman, Kathryn is now a quadriplegic after a battle with polio that nearly cost her life when she was 17. However, despite Kathryn's physical limitations, she and Christy develop a strong and intimate friendship.
As Christy struggles to grow up, he must learn to deal with the problems that usually beset a much older boy as he also confronts issues of sex and familial betrayal. Yet the friendship, wisdom and vitality bestowed by Kathryn serves as a guiding light. At the same time, Christy helps to give Kathryn new joy and six weeks of hope. Their summer ends with the ultimate victory of lives lived and loved.