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Summer Rain is, more-or-less, your average pre-teen girl. She’s also a bit of a tomboy and the class clown, preferring the company of the boys to the girls. Her father works in the city, and stays there during the week, so she mostly lives with her rather frugal grandfather. So frugal, in fact, that he’s taped over the light switches to conserve electricity, doesn’t believe in indoor plumbing, and sends Summer out each week to pick up scraps from the neighbours to feed the chickens.
Except they have no chickens.
Then her grandfather gets himself a new girlfriend. A woman with a dubious past and a string of ex-husbands. Summer knows her grandfather has money – he’s just too stingy to spend it – so could Macy be lining him up to be her next ex-? If so, something’s got to be done.
Luckily, Summer’s grandmother works in the crystal store, and her assistant Apple has more than a trick or two up her sleeve. Can they brew an un-love potion? Meanwhile, the popular, nice girl, Juanita, seems to want to be her friend. Is she for real? And what if she finds out all the embarrassing stuff about Summer’s life?
Although it’s never stated, Summer Rain has a distinctly New Zealand flavour, it feels precisely like a rural NZ community. The characters are unique, distinctive and quirky. There is humour aplenty.
This book is well-written and entertaining, I really enjoyed reading it, and would recommend it to kids aged 10 plus.
Reviewed by Angela Oliver
The Discombobulated Life of Summer Rain
by Julie Lamb
Published by Submarine (Makaro Press)