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The Clover Girls – the never ending bond of a summer friendship.

In 1985, four girls from different backgrounds head out to summer camp in a northern Michigan resort town. At Camp Birchwood, Emily, Veronica, Elizabeth and Rachel form an immediate bond. As their initials spell out, they hail that they will be friends 4-E-V-E-R. But it didn’t turn out that way. And in present day, Veronica, once a successful model, struggles with the loss of her independence and a troubled marriage. Elizabeth (Liz) is divorced, feels she never fulfilled her potential and watches the decline of her ill mother. Rachel, a former actress, is a political consultant whose right-wing extremist persona has made it hard for her to form any meaningful personal connections. Their best days are behind them. Each of the women receive a letter from Emily, who we learn early on, has passed away. While dying of cancer, she made arrangements for her ashes to be brought back to the now shuttered camp with the hope that in bringing the group together, old wounds can be healed.

The Clover Girls is an extremely touching story about friendship and forgiveness. The three women need to find a way to forgive each other and forgive themselves if they have any chance of restoring their relationships. Viola Shipman is a pen name for author Wade Rouse. His ability to write such insightful female characters is quite a testament to his talent. I spent some of my best summers at a wonderful camp in New York State and decades later, my bunkmates remain some my closest friends so this book hits very close to my heart. It will have you thinking about your own friendships, your own hopes and dreams and the passage of time. And the people you have lost.

Rachel aptly comments, “Why do we have such incredible friends when we’re young, and then we lose touch with them? We rarely recreate those same bonds. Do we grow up and get too busy, or are we just scared of sharing our true selves as adults? What happens to friendships? And, as a result, what happens to us?”

Pack some Kleenex.

Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.

General Fiction / Women’s Fiction.

Publication Date: May 18, 2021.

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