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She thought that her family was an open book, without secrets. . .

Even as a child of the late 70's, Barbara Jean Ellington knew her grandmothers were lesbians, a truth they never concealed. During BJ's summer vacations at their home on Blue Lake, Nonna and Lena taught her to swim and play cards, provided a lively contrast to BJ's conservative parents, and comforted BJ when her first summer romance ended abruptly and without reason. Now, years later, BJ seeks refuge in her late grandmothers' house in the wake of her husband's affair. As she relives the languid summer days of her youth and prepares the house for sale, she struggles to come to terms not only with the looming threat of divorce, but also with the Pandora's Box of family revelations she uncovers in Nonna's hidden notebooks. In them, she discovers a fifty-year family history littered with secrets from the past--secrets that have present day consequences for herself, her marriage, and for Travis, the boy who broke her heart during that long-ago summer. With heart, humor, and intrigue, SUMMERS AT BLUE LAKE follows in the tradition of best-selling authors such as Anita Shreve, Elizabeth Berg, and Sue Miller.
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"Characterization is exceptional; both grandmothers sparkle. Spikes of humor, brilliant descriptive passages. . . all contribute to a memorable thought-provoking novel."   Voya 

"In Althouse-Wood's engaging novel, she alternates between past and present; gives BJ a fresh, honest voice; and beautifully develops the relationship between the grandmothers."  Booklist Review


"The word was not forbidden in our house. I had heard it often and practiced saying the beautiful syllables in my mirror. 'Lez-bee-an.' It sounded exotic like sapphire or emerald, only more purple like amethyst, jewels that were secret and dark and lovely in velvet boxes...'Lezzz-be-ann.' Though the resonance hypnotized me. . . the meaning evaded me. For my fourth-grade heritage report, I boasted that I was Scotch-Irish on my father's side, and on my mother's side, we were Lesbian."Read more. Look inside the book


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