A memoir of summer camp and growing up
Flies, mosquitoes, and poison ivy—even initial bouts of homesickness—make
summer camp an unforgettable experience for any young camper. Nancy Kyme’s
memoir, Memory Lake: The Forever Friendships of
Summer (Vantage Point Books,
2011), captures those details but focuses
on the special bonds of friendship and the inner strength young women develop as
they learn to juggle independence with interdependence at summer camp.
The story begins as the author, her own 17-year old
daughter, and her daughter’s two friends embark on a road trip to attend a
reunion at Kyme’s old summer camp near the shores of Lake Michigan. Then it
flashes back to vivid descriptions of the magical days the author and her older
sister spent at camp when she was a teen herself, away for the first time from
the security of her home and her parents.
If you have ever spent a summer at sleepaway camp or have a
daughter who has, Kyme’s nuanced and beautifully written memoir will enthrall
you. It describes the growing up that takes place almost imperceptibly in
swimming holes, around campfires, and in cabins in the woods. The routines,
pranks and friendly competition among fellow campers were pivotal in
transforming the author’s own life, building her sense of trust and determination,
and also creating lifelong connections.
It’s a great read for a cold winter’s day while you are
waiting for summer to return and a perfect choice for a mother-daughter Book
by the Book" is an occasional series of posts on The
Friendship Blog about books that offer friendship lessons.
Another book about friendships at summer camp for younger
- Slept Away by Julie Kraut