Meet Edie. She's eleven years old and heading to the lake with her mom and dad, but without her sister Dexter. This summer Dexter's ballet camp conflicts with the family vacation, so she will be staying with Mean Meagan for the 2 weeks that the family is gone. Also, the lake is not exactly the Grand Canyon, but Grandpa just had a stroke, and Edie's dad doesn't want to be too far away.
The lake seems a bit boring at first, but soon Edie's imagination has her in swimming like a whale, and becoming Neptune. She also meets Robert. A fat kid who is at the lake with his mom and a man who is not his dad. Edie and Robert are soon on fishing expeditions, and watching movies. They are just starting to get to know each other when Edie's parents get a call and they leave the lake a whole week early.
Edie is distraught about her grandfather and decides that learning some magic might help him out. Not the bunny out of the hat variety, but the kind of spells that can make people sick or well.
We watch Edie navigate a year in her life as she discovers that the things she always thought were true, suddenly seem less than. Maybe Mean Meagan isn't so mean. Maybe grandpa really is sick. Maybe Edie doesn't hate dancing after all. And maybe Dex isn't so perfect.
This is a wonderful tween book. Annabel Lyon has written a character driven story that is authentic, charming and spot on. Bits of text had me laughing out loud...
"Wow," Robert says for the third time, and I see he's finally starting to believe me. "No kidding?" He squints at me, and I can tell he just thought of something else. "Do you always get caught?" he asks. "Don't you ever get away with anything?"
"No," I say. I figure getting away with something would be like catching a fish: it never really happens, not really. p. 34.
The relationship between Edie and Dexter grows nicely throughout the book, as does Edie's relationship with herself.
A fun read for those who like to get to know their characters.
(And hey, I managed my first title on my Canadian Book Challenge!)