- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Random House (June 6, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399589317
- ISBN-13: 978-0399589317
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Perennials: A Novel Hardcover – June 6, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Rachel and Fiona are as different as friends can be. Rachel, the result of an affair, is a city girl, scrappy, self-possessed, and confident. Fiona struggles in her suburban life, unsure of her place in her family and among her friends. Yet when the two spend summers at Camp Marigold, they fall into an easy rhythm. Several years later, the young women return to Marigold as counselors. Rachel and Fiona grow apart as the rest of the camp changes around them. But when tragedy strikes, they are thrown together once more. This coming-of-age narrative touches on themes of body image and fitting in. The book is rich with detail, bringing to life the daily rhythms of the camp from lakeside to stable, all the way to the lurid after-hours activities of the staff. Debut author Berman successfully incorporates a varied supporting cast that includes the protagonists' parents and siblings as well as camp directors, horseback instructors, and others. VERDICT This compelling, immersive look at summer camp life will appeal to anyone who appreciates tales of friendship.—Erinn Black Salge, Morristown-Beard School, Morristown, NJ
“Berman is at her most insightful when exploring the awkward unfurling of female adolescence. . . . Perennials is a sharp meditation on the changing female body, and the ways in which such changes are often involuntary and unwanted. . . . [She] skillfully captures the details and rituals of camp. It’s a place where freedom from the roles young people play at home lets them become who they are. And where, for those who return year after year, a girl can retrace her steps, see all the parts of herself past and present, with the occasional glimpse into the future.”—J. Courtney Sullivan, The New York Times Book Review
“This highly anticipated coming-of-age novel from Mandy Berman delivers the perfect sunny trifecta: summer camp drama, growing pains, and the enduring power of female friendships.”—Redbook
“[Mandy] Berman entices readers with this coming-of-age-tale of two girls. . . . This story of facing life’s difficulties is most memorable because of Berman’s excellently crafted, multifaceted characters.”—Publishers Weekly
“Stormy emotional weather and unforeseen events rock a summer camp in the Berkshires. . . . Berman’s debut recalls the beloved teen and adult novels of Judy Blume, both in topic and prose style: simple, powerful, unafraid to confront serious issues.”—Kirkus Reviews
“[Mandy] Berman’s command of prose is astounding. The more you read, the more difficult it is to believe that this is a debut novel. . . . Clearly borne of real-world camp experience . . . Charged with hope, longing, an unexpected sensuality, and a bruised tenderness, Perennials is a book you should most definitely put near the top of your reading list.”—Pop Dust
“Perennials centers on two girls who met as campers but are reunited as camp counselors once they’re in college. As the summer progresses, they begin to grow apart—keeping secrets from one another, avoiding conversations about things they need to talk about—all culminating in one fateful event that makes them put everything on the table.”—PopSugar
“If coming-of-age tales always get you, you won’t be able to put this one down—it involves a female friendship between two campers who become counselors at Camp Marigold who must confront their past to move forward as adults.”—The Knot
“Mandy Berman has remade the American summer camp narrative, ditching the usual clichés and getting in close with her characters and their various states of emotional and economic precariousness. Perennials is a sharp, crushingly observant, and empathetic debut, full of wit and tragedy, and good for all seasons.”—Sam Lipsyte, author of The Fun Parts and The Ask
“Mandy Berman explores an old trope: the magic of summer camp, a place separate from the rest of your life where you can become a slightly different version of yourself, a place where friendships run impossibly deep and romance and sex are innocent. But what happens when that divide begins to crumble, and real life, in all its moral ambiguity, finds its way to the heart of a halcyon summer? Lucid, psychologically nuanced, and great fun to read, Perennials has taken an old subject and made it new.”—Rufi Thorpe, author of Dear Fang, With Love and The Girls from Corona del Mar
“Snappy and irresistible, Mandy Berman’s debut novel, Perennials, takes readers back to summer camp, where her characters’ first friendships and treasons play out in sharp dialogue and playful, generous prose. Berman fearlessly renders youth and adulthood alike, in sentences you’ll want to savor.”—Kristopher Jansma, author of Why We Came to the City
“Do you remember that youthful summer when ‘everything changed’? Mandy Berman sure does and her wonderful novel is a snapshot of that time and the group of young women who are irrevocably changed by it. Perennials manages to be warm and loving and still wallop you with moments of shock and pain. At the right time she can also be funny as hell. What an exciting debut.”—Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine and The Changeling
“Berman is a daring and fearless explorer of the complicated lives of young women. Her debut, a winning, keenly observed, and clear-eyed novel set in a summer camp, captures the age when fierce attachments forged over years begin to unravel, passionate female friendships give way to sex, and identity seems to shift with the tides. Most poignantly, Berman reminds us of the excitement, trepidation, and grief that comes with the growing awareness that we are starting to become who we will be for the rest of our lives.”—Elissa Schappell, author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls
“In Perennials, Mandy Berman explores the inner worlds of girls attending a summer camp together—a place where the rules don’t always apply. Weathering love affairs, escaping crumbling friendships, and even surviving the loss of one of their own, this cohort of girls grows into women in the span of one short summer—and you’ll be glad for the chance to eavesdrop every step of the way.”—Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times bestselling author of June and Bittersweet
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Rachel Rivkin and Fiona Larkin show the true meaning of friendship in the book perennials.Read more