August 22, 2017

That One Summer • The Names They Gave Us

The Names They Gave Us book cover
Lucy Hansson’s life appears to be on track: a great relationship with her parents, a steady boyfriend and a comfortable ‘job’ helping at their church and their summer Bible camp. But then her mom’s cancer reappears, the first of a series of chaotic changes in Lucy’s life. When her parents decide that she ought to volunteer at a neighboring camp for troubled kids, Lucy is faced with new experiences, challenges and friends – all things that, alongside her own questions about her faith, she must come to terms with over the summer.

I have read and loved every single one of Emery Lord’s novels. The Names They Gave Us is certainly no exception, her latest release being a story that was affecting and thoughtful. Lucy is struggling with her new circumstances as a counselor in a different summer camp; she also grapples with her faith, tested as it is by the return of her mother’s cancer and the shifting dynamics of her own life. And the reason why this story is so great is simple: most readers will be able to identify with Lucy. Who of us has not grappled with questions about our faith in harsh circumstances? Who of us has not grappled with figuring out who we are and what we want? Who of us has not grappled with forming and forging relationships with new people? Who of us has not been put into situations where we must adapt and learn and grow? I feel like I’d be hard-pressed to discover someone who hasn’t had these struggles in their life in one form or another. In the case of this novel, Lord succeeds in portraying Lucy’s summer experience – the highs and the lows, the relationship shifts, the questions and the answers – in all its vibrantly complex glory, and I adored every second.

Emotionally nuanced, with carefully crafted characters and relationships, The Names They Gave Us left quite an impression. I felt deeply reading this one; I also found myself asking (and answering) questions of my own, inspired by Lucy’s own musings. It was, without a doubt, another utterly beautiful story from Emery Lord, and I would highly recommend it.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's | Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thanks!)
Buy the Book: Book Depository | Amazon | IndieBound


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