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REVIEW: Summer Friends by Holly Chamberlain


Over the course of one eventful summer, nine-year-old native Mainer Delphine Crandall and Maggie Weldon, a privileged girl 'from away,' become best friends. Despite the social gulf between them, their bond is strengthened during vacations spent rambling around Ogunquit's beaches and quiet country lanes, and lasts throughout their college years in Boston. It seems nothing can separate them, yet after graduation, Delphine and Maggie slowly drift in different directions...With her MBA, Maggie acquires a lucrative career, and eventually marries. Delphine is drawn back home, her life steeped in family and the Maine community she loves. Twenty years pass, until one summer, Maggie announces she's returning to Ogunquit to pay an extended visit. And for the first time, the friends are drawn to reflect on their choices and compromises, the girls they were and the women they've become, the promises kept and broken - and the deep, lasting ties that even time can never quite wash away...

About the Author

 I live in Portland, Maine, with my husband Stephen (architect, photographer, and food writer) and our amazingly fabulous cats, Jack, Betty and Cyrus. When I'm not writing, I usually can be found with my head in a book. I try to read widely; still, I do play favorites with authors such as Peter Ackroyd and Patrick McGrath.
I was born and grew up in the Bronx and later lived in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I earned an undergraduate and graduate degree in English Literature at New York University before going on to work for about twelve years as an editor in publishing and packaging at Ballantine Books, Daniel Weiss Associates, Inc., and Kensington Publishing Corporation. Mostly I developed, acquired and edited projects, usually fiction, in Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade categories.
In 1996, I moved to Boston and began freelance editing, ghost writing, and reviewing manuscripts. I was a can-do wordsmith for hire, grinding out books on everything from the importance of shark liver oil in one's diet to feng shui for the amateur; I also worked on what seemed like a million Young Adult series installments. Eventually I decided I'd rather work on my own projects so I made a proposal to my old friend and colleague John Scognamiglio at Kensington. After a couple of false starts he signed me up to write "Living Single," which was published in 2002. Since then I've been writing one novel a year, and I've also contributed novellas to three collections John put together.
In terms of life outside reading and writing, Stephen and I recently updated an 1865 brick townhouse in downtown Portland and we love living in this old seaside town. We entertain a good bit -- Stephen cooks, I set a nice table and clean up afterwards. We're happy to live in an area so full of people who support the arts. Portland itself is alive with theatre and music, and it's the home of several museums, including the impressive Portland Museum of Art, and good independent bookstores catering to serious readers, such as Longfellow Books and Cunningham Used Books.
(From Amazon)


  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; 1 edition (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758235070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758235077


Delphine lives in a beach town that fills up with tourists every summer, most of those are wealthy.  She meets Maggie and they develop a fast friendship even though there are gulfs between the two, they share everything each summer as they grow.  Now both are heading for middle age and they meet again at age 49.  Del quit school and returned home to Maine to work for the family business while Maggie marries, has a successful career and children.  Del and Maggie lose touch with each other and only at Maggie's insistence do they reconnect.  The story alternates between the two growing up together during summers in Maine and their current lives.

I know everyone has a friendship like this one, where a move can sometimes cause two best friends to lose track with each other.  Sometimes there is a falling out, sometimes geography plays an important role, but a lot of times, social conditions rule where life takes you.  The girls who share everything growing up find themselves with little in common as adults.  I thought Del was a quiet individual always trying to be responsible to her family, putting them before herself, while Maggie was a force of nature, knowing what she wants and how to get it.  Part of me was upset with Del for not pushing a bit harder in her life, but at the same time, I thought she was right where she wanted to be.  This is just one of those books that is a perfect summer read that is still thought provoking and will have you thinking about your own friends.


  1. Does sound good for the end of the summer!

  2. This definitely sounds like a nice, reflective read. Thanks for the review!

  3. What a fun read about friends. Sounds like it is a great summer read.


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