ISBN #: 978-1477684108
Page Count: 402
Copyright: July 2, 2012
(Taken from Goodreads)
When her hometown newspaper reviews Hannah O'Brien's newly released novel, the nature of her book is called into question when the reviewer suggests it is a memoir depicting her neglectful alcoholic mother - Keeley O'Brien Cohen, the most beloved of the Barefoot Girls - a little too accurately for fiction, citing rumors rather than sources.
Deeply hurt and betrayed, Keeley cuts Hannah out of her life. Desperate, Hannah does everything she can to apologize and explain, but her pleas fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile, the rest of Hannah's life starts to unravel, pushing her to risk her engagement to Daniel, the one man who had been able to scale the high walls around her heart. At the eleventh hour, the Barefoot Girls are able to convince Keeley to send Hannah the keys to the Barefooter house, the home and heart of their friendship. Barred from their clubhouse since she was twelve, Hannah grabs the chance to visit the little shack filled with memories and perched at the tip of Captain's Island in the Great South Bay on Long Island, New York.
As Hannah battles to come to terms with her equally blessed and troubled childhood and understand her mother and her sister-close friends, she's confronted with the power of forgiveness and the dangers of holding on to the past.
I'm not typically a chick-lit kind of chick. I soooooo expected not to like this book. I had a chip on my shoulder from the get-go when I started Barefoot Girls. I thought, here comes a ripoff of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, a book which I read many years ago and don't remember being all that enthralled with. I even went back and read the summary of that book and there are a lot of similarities. But make no mistake - this is a totally original work and not at all like Rebecca Wells' book.
And then a funny thing happened. This book grew on me. It was a bit slow-going, it took me a while to warm to the characters. At first, the four Barefoot Girls, Keeley, Zooey, Amy and Pam, seemed like one entity to me. I still feel like I don't know much about Amy or Pam at the end of the story, but Keeley and Zooey get fleshed out a bit more. Hannah, Keeley's daughter, seemed like a bit of a brat to me at first. She's got a great fiance, a book on a best-selling list and a great place to live. Sounds like a pretty good life. But as the layers of her relationship with Keeley peel away, it becomes an interesting story.
The history of the Barefoot Girls is the story-within-the-story. Their rivalry with another island girl, Rose, is what really hooked me. Rose, as an adult, is mentally unstable, to say the least.
Give this book a chance, especially if you are into the chick-lit genre. This is a sometimes funny, sometimes gut-wrenching story about the bond between friends as well as between mother and daughter that withstands even the toughest of situations and revelations. It's a bit on the long side but if you are drawn into it like I was, the pages will fly by.
*An ecopy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.