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In Summer Light

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  88 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
With the help of an attractive graduate student, Kate endures a summer with her overpowering artist father and gains the courage to pursue her own artistic goals.
Hardcover, 149 pages
Published October 21st 1985 by Viking Books for Young Readers (first published 1985)
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Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

This 1985 coming of age novel is the story of Kate, the daughter of a famous artist, who returns home from boarding school with mononucleosis and must, against her wishes, spend the summer with her family. Most disgusting to her about her stay at home is her father’s attitude toward everyone around him, as though they live to serve his whims. Kate has been subject to this treatment herself, as her father once painted a picture of her, and the
Sep 23, 2010 Allison rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction, chl-lit
Jul 17, 2010 Rose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like coming of age, YA, summer stories
Recommended to Rose by: Librarian
Decent coming-of-age story about a young woman (Kate) who finds her place in the world and what she loves during the summer before her senior year. Affected with mono, she spends the summer at home, bored and in a tense relationship with her father. Her father is a famous artist, and constantly immersed in his work, leaving Kate feeling chagrined because she feels like she can't connect to him or his art. She even shuns her own artistic abilities because of her relationship with him.

For two mont
Jun 12, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing
Kate planned to spend her summer on Long Island with her best friend, Leah, but when Kate is struck with mono, she is sent away from her boarding school, back to Massachusetts to stay with her mother, sister, and famous father. Kate resents her family, the island, her father's paintings, and especially her father. But as the summer passes and Kate reads Shakespeare's Tempest, she sees her father in a different light, as Prospero, overbearing and overpowering presence on the island, and Kate does ...more
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Oct 02, 2013 Cindy Dyson Eitelman rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-14
Kind of what I expected from a modern teen classic. It's more about finding yourself than it is about finding your true love, and I enjoyed the self-discovery aspect immensely. The love angle wasn't half as well described as the girl's yearning to paint pictures. And the relationship (or lack of) between the girl and her father was superbly depicted--not in a preachy, "telling the story" kind of way, but in the best tradition of uncovering the truth by "showing the story." Superb.

Not that I'd ca
Sep 20, 2010 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen, for-school
I read this shortly after I finished reading Blue Heron, and they were perfect companions. Perfectly paced novel of the desire to please that never really goes away, rather, it transfigures into something more palatable as the years go by.
Liz S.
Oct 17, 2009 Liz S. rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread, ya, 2009
I was inspired by that Shelf Discovery book to pick this up again, about 15+ years after I first read it. I'm glad I did; it's still a really simple, lovely story about a girl coming into her own during an idyllic summer on Martha's Vineyard. YA lit at its best.
Elizabeth Lund
Really interesting dynamics between the characters. I found the summer-long high school paper a bit weird.
Lisbeth Solberg
This book explores the emotional dynamics of a family of artists: father, successful, domineering; mother, manquee, docile; daughter, just discovering herself.
Allegra Green
I love the way Zibby O'neal writes emotion with so much authenticity. I adore this book, it resonated really well for me.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Some of this book is really excellent - but after a while its use of The Tempest as a parallel became somewhat wearing.
Collection "Page blanche".
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Zibby Oneal was born on March 17, 1934, in Omaha, Nebraska. "My mother loved books, both for their content and because they are beautiful objects. Our house was full of them. She read aloud to us a great deal. I can remember finding it miraculous that she could look at the strange black marks on a page and see a story there. I planned to fill pages with black marks of my own as soon as I learned h ...more
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“Thinking these things made space and time around her, the way saying 'only June' had when she was a child hoarding summer.” 0 likes
“And at night, leaning against the frame of her window, Kate said the word aloud to herself for the pure pleasure of saying it, listening to the lovely, liquid opening of the vowel, and the v that close and contained it.” 0 likes
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