PDF Amethyst Summer: PDF

by Bianca Bradbury

Bayley's mother has to spend the summer caring for Bayley's great aunt, her namesake, in a town an hour or so away, because the aunt has broken her leg. She still plans on teaching one more year of 4th grade, though— they won't get her to retire before she's 70! (Which means that she probably started teaching in about 1914, so is almost exactly my grandmother's age!) Bayley is left to take care of the homefront because her father and three brothers couldn't possibly do the laundry or shopping, what with Chip's jazz combo, Benjy working in the grocery store, and Tom working in the paper factory and needing to eat hearty breakfasts, leaving Chip and Bayley with dry cereal instead of eggs. Friend Jean helps out a little, but in the tradition of teen books from this era, is a bit more boy crazy than Bayley, who barely combs her hair and rarely changes out of her dungarees. Bayley does make an attempt to befriend the new neighbors, a family of Polish refugees whose father is a much lauded scientist recently hired by the nearby university. The mother is scared of everyone, having survived the Concentration Camps, but takes to Bayley. Between her brother's and Jean's admonitions, Bayley does manage to clean herself up and try to get some dates, because goodness knows she needs some break from the endless loads of stinky boy laundry. At the end of the summer, though, it's all been worth it— at the end of the summer, she gets to put on a yellow silk dress and the boys all take her out to a fancy restaurant and each give her a piece of amethyst jewelry.

What the book doesn't address is how Bayley got older, spent two years in college studying home ec before marrying Bruno the neighbor boy. By 1975, she had four children, and Bruno decided to take up with a young Polish student of his, leaving Bayley alone in the split level with the avocado shag carpet. In order to make ends meet, she takes a job as the secretary at the children's school, and every morning as she puts on her double knit polyester pantsuit and accessorizes it with her amethysts, she looks in the mirror and wishes that she had learned her lesson that summer and had gone to Berkeley like Jean did. Jean's in line for tenure as a professor of the newly developed Women's Studies Program at one of the SUNY branches now, while Bayley is stuck with her brother Chip living in her basement and smoking pot.

I had to laugh when I saw the Kirkus review of this, https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re...

I'd love to know if this was written when the book was published, or whether this is a 21st century look back at 1963.

"Surrounded by teasing brothers, Bayley Hughes, at the age of sixteen, still hung on to her tomboyish ways. When circumstances force her to become a junior housekeeper, Bayley has trouble managing her brothers, father, and her own peppery temper. A sprained ankle, new, strange neighbors, a first date, and a haircut strung together haphazardly do not result in any semblance of a plot. But, the gravest error on the author's part, is basing the end of the story on a highly questionable standard of ethics—: Miss Bradbury sees fit to have Bayley's family reward her for being a summer-time skullery maid, by ceremoniously presenting her with several pieces of amethyst jewelry (thus the oh, so clever title). This business of expensive materialistic rewards is a shabby way to incite young housework-haters to ""sacrifice"" themselves for their own families. Miss Bradbury has sketched a pretty unfeeling, insensitive little society based on materialism; this is not sound reading for young teenagers."

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GanreYoung Adult
eBook formatLibrary Binding, (torrent)En
File size5.4 Mb
Book rating4.27 (7 votes)
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