It wasn't that Summer didn't like her mother. Actually she loved her mother with a fierce love that sometimes turned to fear that someday Oriole might just disappear. The greatest time in Oriole's life had been the years she spent in a hippy commune in San Francisco. That was after Summer's father had wandered through and then disappeared back into the normal world he had come from. Summer sensed that her love of order and her drive for achievement and security must have come from him. For years she had written him unmailed letters, though he did not even know of her existence.
Though Summer was very different from Oriole, Sparrow, who was seven, and whose father had also just drifted through their lives, was more like her mother. She could turn out in any number of ways. It was for her that Summer feared most the summer she was fifteen and Oriole got involved with a man Summer could not like, and with mysterious goings on at their neighbors', the Fishers. Summer sensed trouble; she had a feeling the Fishers were raising marijuana. And if it was discovered, it was Oriole who would suffer.
Summer's approaches to her problems are both helped and complicated by her relationships with Richard and Nan Oliver, for whom she cleans on weekends; with Nicky Fisher, sone of the neighbors; and with her English teacher, Alan Pardell, who knows more about her problems than she likes, but who has ideas that are helpful.
When the final time of decision comes, after disaster strikes, it is all the forces that have had an influence on Summer that keep her from making some terrible mistakes.
Original title: The Birds of Summer
Genre: Fiction→ Children & Young Adult→ Family & Relationships