Standalone Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Megan @ bookslayerreads. Standalone Sunday was created to let others know about all the standalone books you have loved, but maybe don’t get the attention they need. Megan created the banner as well and anyone joining in can use it too. Please go check out Megan’s blog and say hello!!
Today I’m choosing a book I read a few years ago and that I totally loved!!
The summers you spend at summer camp are indelibly etched on your heart. But what happens when the camp you love is about to close? Can you ever really say goodbye to the place that made you who you are? These are the questions that plagues Ethel, the seventy-year-old former camp director who is nursing a broken heart after losing the love of her life as she now faces the impending closure of the camp on Lake Wenatchee that she called home. It’s also a question that inspires change in forty-year-old Shannon, who spent the summers of her youth as a vibrant, capable camp counselor and is now directionless after watching her career implode. And there’s Laura, who has lost all intimacy with her husband and doesn’t know if she can save what seems to be gone forever. Finally, Ruby, who betrayed Ethel years ago and hasn’t spoken to her since, hopes this will be her chance to make amends. When the four women learn that a homeless teen has been hiding at camp, they realize camp is something much more immediate for all: survival.
And so the three generations of women search for a way to save the place that saved them all, finding in the process a way back to themselves and each other in The Firelight Girls, Kaya McLaren’s novel of love and loss, heartbreak and healing.
THE FIRELIGHT GIRLS follows the story of five women, who all have ties to Camp Firelight, a summer camp for girls of all ages. After running out of water and funds, the camp is closing down. Ethel, the camp director and manager, decides she needs some help to clean the place up. She seeks out the alumni to help and three former campers, Laura, Ruby and Shannon come to spend the week with her cleaning and packing. While the four of them continue to mourn the loss of their camp, Ethel is still mourning the loss of the love of her life, Haddie. Ruby is also mourning the loss of fifty years of wasted time that she could have had with Ethel and Haddie.
THE FIRELIGHT GIRLS includes three generations of women, one of which is a young girl who runs away from a bad situation that her mom created. She broke into one of the cabins and is trying to live there and still get to school. Amber has had a rough life and she is trying to stay in school and be as normal as she possibly can. The women discover her and take her under their wing.
Laura has raised her kids and now feels as if her marriage is over. There is nothing more to bring her and her husband together. They haven’t had sex in years and when one is in bed before the other, they pretend to be asleep. Laura is the only one saying I love you, something her husband Steve doesn’t say anymore.
Forty-year-old Shannon, spent the summers of her youth as a happy camp counselor and is now trying to figure out where her life is going after watching her career take a turn for the worse. Shannon is a teacher and right before she left for Camp to help Ethel, she has a bit of a melt down and may or may not have a job anymore. She isn’t really happy there anyway, and she is hoping the week of cleaning and packing up camp will give her the answers she needs about her life.
THE FIRELIGHT GIRLS is a heartbreaking story, one I fell in love with very early on. The story moves between characters as well as time periods and life events easily, giving you a rich vision of the women’s lives and their relationship to the camp. I went to summer camp myself and I found this a gentle reminder of a simpler time and the joy that comes from camp. For anyone who has gone to summer camp – or wishes they did – this is a comforting read.