Every summer, Samantha Wheland joins her childhood friends -- Isabel, Kendra and Mina -- on a vacation, somewhere exotic and fabulous. Together with their mixed bag of parents, they've created a lifetime of memories. This year it's a beach house in Honduras.Read more...
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Every summer, Samantha Wheland joins her childhood friends -- Isabel, Kendra and Mina -- on a vacation, somewhere exotic and fabulous. Together with their mixed bag of parents, they've created a lifetime of memories. This year it's a beach house in Honduras. But for the first time, their clan is not complete. Mina lost her battle against cancer six months ago, and the friends she left behind are still struggling to find their way forward without her.
For Samantha, the vacation just feels wrong without Mina. Despite being surrounded by her friends -- the closest thing she has to family -- Mina's death has left Sam a little lost. Unsure what direction her life should take. Fearful that whatever decision she makes about her wealthy French boyfriend's surprise proposal, it'll be the wrong one.
The answers aren't in the journal Mina gave Sam before she died. Or in the messages Sam believes Mina is sending as guideposts. Before the trip ends, the bonds of friendship with her living friends, the older generation's stories of love and loss, and Sam's glimpse into a world far removed from the one in which she belongs will convince her to trust her heart. And follow it.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-04-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Cloyed's scattered debut spans two generations, four countries, and even parallel universes, as Samantha Wheland comes to a crossroads in her life after the death of her friend, Mina, with a proposal of marriage from her wealthy Parisian boyfriend, offering instant glamour and romance—but at a price. As Samantha looks for answers at an artists' residency in Honduras, her childhood friends, Isabel and Kendra, along with their parents, show up to help. The girls bring levity, and their parents bring issues, sharing defining moments from their lives: the civil rights movement, the Iranian revolution, a brief marriage to an aristocrat. The connections between these reminiscences and the modern day feel forced, but is somewhat offset by Samantha's pursuit of self-discovery. Finally, a cancer treatment journal that Mina kept, to which her friends contributed, illuminates their attempt to outsmart death by studying physics and parallel universe theories, and takes the novel in a fresh direction. While Cloyed tackles grand issues, she impatiently pulls from a hodgepodge of styles, but her heart is in the right place. (June)