Monday, August 30, 2010

Book Review - The Perfect Age by Heather Skyler


Helen is just fifteen, lanky and striking. She is a lifeguard at the pool at The Dunes hotel this summer—her first job, a step toward independence in a world beginning to treat her as an adult and a woman. Her mother, Kathy, watching Helen grow up, suddenly finds herself in a place equally uncertain: her children getting older, her stable marriage perhaps too stable, the slow days of summer leaving her adrift. When she meets Helen's boss, the manager at the pool, she chooses an affair that opens her to the idea of a different sort of life.

Following Helen and Kathy through three summers, this novel is an intimate picture of two sexual awakenings under one roof and their aftershocks on a family. Heather Skyler shows us that the validity of life's deepest experiences—love, betrayal, acceptance—is never compromised by age.

My Thoughts:

This story parallels a daughter's coming-of-age, and her mother's exploration of an affair outside of her marriage. It takes place over the span of three summers, in Las Vegas.

15 year old Helen and her boyfriend Leo have been dating forever, and Leo wants to move their relationship to the next level. Helen is not sure she is ready....until she sees her mother with another man, who happens to be Helen's supervisor at work, Gerard. At once, Helen feels the need to lash out and hurt her mother any way that she possibly can, and she knows that actions speak louder than words.

Kathy, Helen's mother, becomes attracted to Gerard, surprising herself. Her marriage has reached the point where she and Edward, her husband, have settled into a comfortable normalcy. When she meets Gerard, she experiences feelings that she hasn't had in a long time. She takes a chance to explore them, to see where they lead.

I found this novel to be reminiscent of Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout. A beautiful story of intimate family secrets, and the love between a mother and daughter, both longing for something different in their lives. Ms. Skyler captures perfect images of Las Vegas in the sweltering summer heat, and proving that love, at any age, is irresistible. I read this book in two nights.....loved it!
Photobucket Outstanding!

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (May 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393326888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393326888

1 comment:

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

Oh, I love the sound of this one, and I've never heard of it before! Maybe it's the pool on the cover that gets me haha Either way, it sounds brilliant, and thanks for the lovely review! :)


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