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The Clover Girls #ourgoodlifebooklist

As comforting and familiar as a favorite sweater, Viola Shipman's novels never fail to deliver a heartfelt story of friendship and family, encapsulating summer memories on 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. Now approaching middle age, the women face new challenges: the inevitable physical changes that come with aging, feeling invisible to society, disinterested husbands, surely 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.

My take:   This book spoke to me as a girl who attended summer Bible camps.  Each year I'd look forward to making new friends and all the camp rituals.  The name of my camp was Camp Pin Oak and I loved the whole experience.  I was only able to go a couple of times, once by myself and once when my sister came along. I experienced a few troublesome moments in this book.  These girls became "friends" in camp, yet did some horrible things to each other.  In my book, this would not constitute me being a friend to this group at all. My friendships do not work like that. I have had lifelong friends, who have treated me with love and respect my entire life.  Sure, if there was a slip up at this stage of my life, I would probably forgive and forget, but at the age of those girls at camp, not so much.  Not enough history to prove this would be a friendship worth nurturing.  Even with this, I did enjoy the book and looked forward to seeing how this would play out. I am glad that they were able to reconnect, hopefully on a more secure foundation.  I would recommend this book for a summer read.

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 and 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.


Author Website: https://www.violashipman.com/
TWITTER: @viola_shipman
FB: @authorviolashipman
Insta: @viola_shipman
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14056193.Viola_Shipman



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  1. Thanks for the book review, I will have to see if my library has it available.
    Take care, enjoy your day! Have a great new week!

  2. I'll look for this book! It would be a perfect summer read!

  3. This sounds like a book I need to read! I always enjoy the friendship reads.

  4. This sounds like an intresting read. I'd be interested to see how the women are portrayed as they're written by a man. Sounds like a good one.

  5. I would love to give this a read! Just reading your review brings back memories of my childhood.

  6. Anonymous7:21 PM

    This sounds like a wonderful read, I have to check this out.

  7. This sounds like a good book. I will have to check it out soon

  8. Richelle Escat11:36 PM

    This sounds like a really fun book to read, thanks for the recommendation.

  9. Sounds like an interesting book. I am looking some new titles to read this summer and this is on my list!

  10. This sounds like an interesting read. Not sure it's for me as it hits a nerve as we have a relative that has cancer.

  11. I love how interesting the storyline is. It's also so sweet of the author to choose his grandmother's name as his pen name, that's definitely a great way to honor her.

  12. This book is interesting! I would love to buy a copy and read it.


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