Fiction. INVINCIBLE SUMMERS explores the agony of family. The story begins with the death of Claudia Goodwin's father, and then plunges into the murkier emotional trouble that follows for years. Through the 1960s and 70s, the world around Claudia moves on. But her loss walks along with her. Gaines deftly manages that loss and the way it floats through time—not shrinking but morphing, not fading but fusing to all of Claudia's experiences. As the chapters progress through two tumultuous decades, they show how parents fumble their own children, how siblings abandon one another, and how people become itinerant and self-destructive. This is no simplistic tale of self-discovery, nor is it a dirge. It is, in Claudia's own words, a restless search for nowhere fueled by moments of whimsy, humor, and hope. I am glad to have read Gaines's fine debut novel and look forward to her next.
Robin Gaines is an award winning journalist and fiction writer. Her work has appeared in literary journals, newspapers, magazines and anthologies. INVICIBLE SUMMERS is her first novel. She lives in Michigan. Author City: NORTHVILLE, MI USA