Monday, September 3, 2012

That Camden Summer, by LaVryle Spencer


Book Title: That Camden Summer
Author: LaVyrle Spencer
Published By:  G.P Putnam’s Sons
Date Published: 1996
Genre: Fiction, Historical Romance
Pages: 277
Recommended Age: Mature Adults
Read  & Reviewed By: Me
Rating: 5

This book is from my personal collection.

It’s 1916 and recently divorced Roberta Jewett moves back to her home town of Camden, Maine with her three daughters.  She is shunned by the town and her own family because of her divorced status.  The men in Camden believe her to be no better than a prostitute, including her brother-in-law. Behaving as no “respectable” would, Roberta gets a job as a county nurse, learns to drive, and buys herself a Model T.  When she is attacked on an isolated country road the townspeople threatens to take her children from her and exonerate her attacker.

My Thoughts:
I gave That Camden Summer by LaVyrle Spencer five stars and a grade of A.  This is not my first time reading the book.  I read it several years ago.  I enjoy all Spencer’s novels. She weaves stories of the historical variety with such a talent that the reader loses him or herself into the past.

I like how the character Roberta Jewett is independent and does what is right for her and her girls even when it goes against society’s expectations of how a woman is supposed to act. Roberta’s sister, Grace, is another story.  She is a disGrace to womankind.  Everyone in town laughs at her behind her back, because she turns a blind eye to her husband’s philandering ways even when he does it in front of her. I was disappointed in Roberta when she chose not to press charges against her attacker, but I had to remember the story was set in 1916, during a time when just being a divorced woman says “you were asking for it.”  It makes a woman like me happy that I live in a time where being a divorce woman doesn’t give a man the right to assume the woman is easy.

If you like LaVyrle Spencer’s novels, I recommend That Camden Summer.  If you have never read a Spencer novel, I still recommend That Camden Summer. You’ll love it.

Language: Some swear words
Adult Content: Sexual Innuendoes, Adult Subject Matter, Heavy topics
Violence: rape scene