Summer of the Loon by Deanna Sletten is a coming-of-age story featuring a teenage girl whose mother died, forcing her to leave her friends and family behind since she had to move to a different part of the country with a grandfather she'd never met. Sound complicated, even stressful?
When she got to the little Minnesota town, stress levels mounted; it seemed she had entered another universe. All the conveniences she had enjoyed such as cellphones, popular restaurants, shopping malls, and so on, became a thing of the past.
Suddenly, she was living with a man who only used electricity for brief periods of the day. She would also have to get up in the wee hours of the morning to go fishing or help out at the inn, run by a close friend of her grandfather. When she had the opportunity, she could go into town at a cafe and use her cellphone so, as you may imagine, the relationships she had with her friends became distant with the lack of contact.
Worst of all was the underlying currents existing between her and her grandfather; she sensed her grandfather didn't love her, didn't even want her living with him. He didn't want to talk about her mother, his daughter - the young woman he had loved with all of his might until she decided to run away from home several years earlier.
Without sharing the entire journey of Summer of the Loon, I will say that the story explored the depths of the relationship between a young girl and her grandfather, bringing healing to their relationship when the full truth of the situation had been revealed, but the story doesn't solely revolve around the girl and her grandfather; there are two other characters who are a big part of the story, whose lives we come to care about as if they were our own.
I've enjoyed other books by Deanna Sletten such as Sara's Promise and Memories. Though the storyline and audience were different, I enjoyed this book just as much as the previous titles I'd read.
If you would like to learn more about this book, feel free to check it out on Amazon.