Title: The Names They Gave Us
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Source: ARC from publisher through Netgalley
Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?
Moving and open-ended. I laughed. I cried. I finished and drove straight across town to hug my mom. There is a sweetness about all of the sadness. The author shines light into all of the dark corners. There is so much pain within this story, but it is peppered with love and hope and all good things.
I guess what keeps it from being a full 5 stars for me was the way Lucy's parents hid soooooo much from her and that she just accepted it and rolled with it. Without giving too much away, I will simply say that I have never met a 17-year-old who would just drop something so serious.
The romance is dreamy yet understated. It is a great representation of a summer camp romance and had me reminiscing many past summers spent at various camps, with friendships that last lifetimes and first loves that shape expectations for all future relationships.
I was very hesitant about reading this book at first because my faith is a large part of who I am. My father is a pastor and I was raised in the church and am still very active in my church today. I am always afraid of how authors will portray churchgoers, and pastor's kids in particular. Lord was very respectful. I love how she was honest with Lucy's doubts and her anger at God. People get the idea that Christians think they are perfect and that's just not a true picture. We have doubt. We get angry. We make bad choices. We even hurt people we love, sometimes on purpose. We're human.
Honestly though, while there is sweet romance in the story, this book is really about Lucy and this amazing trial of her faith. And she comes out at the end so much stronger than she ever knew she could be.
4.5 out of 5 Stars
Britt Nicole - The Sun is Rising