Amy, a sixteen-year-old recovering from an abusive relationship, moves to the country to start a new life with her aunt–all she wants is for everything to be different. In the clearing at the back of Aunt Mae’s property, she makes an amazing discovery—Henry, a boy stuck in the endless summer of 1944. Henry and his world become Amy’s refuge and she begins to learn that some moments are worth savoring. But when the past and present come crashing together, both of them must find the courage to face what is meant to be, even if it means losing each other forever.
The synopsis gives you an exact picture of what this story is all about. Amy, who has been stuck in an abusive relationship moves to the country where her loving Aunt Mae lives… she basically runs away from her previous life to start afresh and to find herself and hopes things will be different. But as she realizes in due course, nothing could be different if one is not ready to be different. On one of the walks in her Aunt’s backyard, she chances to find a clearing and on crossing it… she finds herself in a beautiful settings on 1940s and a family who is stuck in time, they are still living in the year 1944. She becomes friends with the boy in that clearing and starts visiting them every now and then. As there friendship blossoms into something more, both realize what they need to do to move forward in life.
The writing is beautiful, it is lyrical and it is so nice to see words of love, friendship all woven so beautifully together. This novel apart from dealing with love, also deals with various issues in a young teens life – the choices that they make and the role of a parent in helping them out in the time of crisis. It explores the relationships between parent and child and the need of communication in life. It discusses abusive relationship and what keeps one hanging on to it even when it hurts and they know it is in vain. It teaches us that there was no point in fretting over tomorrow and that it has to come and that we need to accept what life holds for us now and then. And finally I got to read a novel on time travel and I loved it.
My only qualm with this one was the ending, I did not expect it and it did not thrill but I felt some how happy for Amy, for her Aunt Mae and sad for Henry Briggs. I have come to accept the fact that it had to be like this!
“The physical things get more difficult when you are old like me, and the emotional things are hard when you’re young like you. I remember when I was your age, everything seemed like a crisis – everything was so big. Things happened that I thought I’d never get over.” – pg. 121
My dear, time is the one thing you should pay attention to. One day, you’ll find there’s never enough of it. – pg 62.
For its writing, it’s superb dealing with so many issues and things… I recommend it wholeheartedly! Thanks to NetGalley for providing the review copy
“It isn’t the big pleasures that count the most; it’s making a great deal out of the little ones.”— Jean Webster