The third book that was not summer reading that I finished just yesterday was Backwater by Joan Bauer.
Ivy is on a quest. Stuck in a family overflowing with lawyers, Ivy Breedlove longs to be understood, to break free of unfair expectations and to find the truth about the mysterious hermit aunt who broke the family mold – the relative no one will talk about. With an outrageous mountain guide leading the way, Ivy sets out on the journey of a lifetime to find the missing link in the Breedlove family. But is she too late?
I loved Ivy. Even surrounded by strong-willed, loud, dominating people that are her family (a very large one – over 70 living relatives), Ivy was the most determined, strongest character in the book. She faced her fears, she stood up to her family and broke tradition with the help of her aunt. Most importantly, she was able to uncover the past and discover how events had changed the people she knew. She did what she loved and what she believed in.
I also admire Josephine, the hermit aunt. To be able to just live in nature, to build everything she had except for a few supplies gotten from town. She seemed really connected to nature, which I would never be able to do, but would love to be able to do. (Make sense?)
Anyway, the book was great. I loved the quirks of the semi-dysfunctional Breedlove family, especially when they’re all together; those scenes were amazingly well written and funny too. I loved the characters and the plot, and the growth the family and rest of the characters experienced. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a cute boy involved eventually too!