THE CLOVER GIRLS by Viola Shipman is only my fourth book read by him, but he broke my heart over and over again and he owes me a box of tissues. I cried more than five times and I’m not ashamed of that. THE CLOVER GIRLS had me tearing up and trying to breathe past the huge lump in my throat over and over again. Okay so Viola Shipman is a pen name and the author is actually a man so I’m not crazy calling Viola a him!😂

I enjoyed the flashback scenes and getting to know how the friends endured hardships and good times over the years apart. THE CLOVER GIRLS is full of strong and unique women learning about their history together and how strong the ties that bind us all really are. Elizabeth, Veronica, Rachel and Emily met at Camp Birchwood as girls in 1985, where over four summers they were the Clover Girls—inseparable for those magical few weeks of freedom—until the last summer that pulled them apart. Now approaching middle age, the women are facing challenges they never imagined as teens, struggles with their marriages, their children, their careers, and wondering who it is they see when they look in the mirror. This story was enjoyable from the first page until the very last. I didn’t want to leave this book. I went to sleep thinking about these women and when I woke up I couldn’t wait to get back to them. Such a great story with great characters. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

THE CLOVER GIRLS is a beautiful but heartbreaking story. I became so emotionally invested in all of the characters and felt like they were lifelong friends. When they were sad, I felt sad. When they were happy I found myself smiling. I love when an author can do that to me and Viola Shipman did it perfectly. THE CLOVER GIRLS is filled with love, life, hope, sadness, happiness, and learning to carry on when our loved ones pass on. Be prepared not to do anything else until you finish reading this beautiful story. Once I started I had a hard time putting it down.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper Collins through Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.

Author: Viola Shipman
ISBN: 9781525896002
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
Publisher: Graydon House


Viola Shipman is the pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his writing. Rouse is the author of The Summer Cottage, as well as The Charm Bracelet and The Hope Chest which have been translated into more than a dozen languages and become international bestsellers. He lives in Saugatuck, Michigan and Palm Springs, California, and has written for People, Coastal Living, Good Housekeeping, and Taste of Home, along with other publications, and is a contributor to All Things Considered.


As comforting and familiar as a favorite sweater, Viola Shipman’s novels never fail to deliver a heartfelt story of friendship and familty, encapsulating summer memories in every page. Fans of Dorthea Benton Frank and Nancy Thayer will love this new story about three childhood friends approaching middle age, determined to rediscover the dreams that made them special as campers in 1985.

Elizabeth, Veronica, Rachel and Emily met at Camp Birchwood as girls in 1985, where they called themselves The Clover Girls (after their cabin name). The years following that magical summer pulled them in very different directions and, now approaching middle age, the women are facing new challenges: the inevitable physical changes that come with aging, feeling invisible to society, disinterested husbands, surley teens, and losing their sense of self.

Then, Elizabeth, Veronica and Rachel each receive a letter from Emily – she has cancer and, knowing it’s terminal, reaches out to the girls who were her best friends once upon a time and implores them to reunite at Camp Birchwood to scatter her ashes. When the three meet at the property for the first time in what feels like a lifetime, another letter from Emily awaits, explaining that she has purchased the abandoned camp, and now it belongs to them – at Emily’s urging, they must spend a week together remembering the dreams they’d put aside, and find a way to become the women they always swore they’d grow up to be. Through flashbacks to their youthful summer, we see the four friends then and now, rebuilding their lives, flipping a middle finger to society’s disdain for aging women, and with a renewed purpose to find themselves again.

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TWITTER: @viola_shipman
FB: @authorviolashipman
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  1. Loved this review! And, of course, it’s been added to my TBR list. I noticed that over the last couple of years I have been really drawn to books about women. Stories of best friends or sisters, especially when they pull out all the feels!!


  2. Awesome review Susan. I have this one coming up in a few days and have my fingers crossed that I will get the audiobook tomorrow, so I shall see. If not, I will just read it as I love Viola Shipman books. So glad I was introduced to this author. 💖📚😁


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