In the summer of 1960 in a small town in Wisconsin, Elizabeth “Biz” and her best friends Viv and Frankie decide to create a list of adventures to accomplish before school starts. What lies ahead is a summer none of the eleven-year-old girls will forget. Every Now and Then is a lovely, poignant coming-of-age story.
Biz lost her mother when she was an infant. Her father is the town doctor and her mother’s sister, Aunt Jane May, has been raising her. Her father has built her an elaborate tree house which is where the three girls have their sleepovers and plot their days. Their innocent adventures had included going to scary movies and treats at the soda shop but things get more complicated when the girls start to ask questions about some mysterious activities at the nearby Broadhurst Mental Institution. They also become more aware of the racism within their community. Frankie lives in the home of a wealthy Italian man and his sister as their orphaned relative to insure that the community does not find out that she is actually the mixed-race daughter of their black housekeeper. The girls start to understand that there is a distinct difference in how people of color are treated within their community. The girls’ adventures put them face-to-face with some harsh realities and dangers.
This was a captivating story. I enjoyed being taken back to a time when best friends were your whole world and you could take your bike and wander freely for hours and hours. There is a nice sense of nostalgia while dealing with some real social issues. This is not a book to rush through. Take your time. It’s worth it.
Many thanks to Edelweiss, Alcove Press and author Lesley Kagen for an advance copy.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: October 6, 2020.
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