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The Resource Every other weekend : a novel, Zulema Renee Summerfield

Every other weekend : a novel, Zulema Renee Summerfield

Label
Every other weekend : a novel
Title
Every other weekend
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Zulema Renee Summerfield
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In the year following her parents' divorce, highly imaginative eight-year-old Nenny has a creeping premonition that something terrible will happen, and when this hunch comes true in the most unexpected of ways, she must deal with the fallout
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • It is the late 1980s when Nenny’s parents divorce, adding hers to the growing statistic of broken homes. When her mom remarries, Nenny and her two brothers gain not only a stepfather but a stepsister and brother, as well. The stress of so many changes ignites eight-year-old Nenny’s tendency to worry. Always an anxious child, Nenny’s fears span a broad range of things, from germs to earthquakes, robbers, even the Russians. But when tragedy actually does come to her new family, it’s not in any of the ways she expects. Then, as Nenny’s anxiety spirals out of control, she finds help in the most surprising places—in a friend at a new apartment, in the sudden replacement of her old teacher—proving that change can bring about good things. Summerfield’s first novel is many things—a nod to late 1980s news and culture, a case study of divided and blended homes, and an imaginative exploration of childhood fears. Mostly, though, it’s the beautifully tender story of an eight-year-old’s broken heart and her journey toward mending it. -- Ophoff, Cortney (Reviewed 3/1/2018) (Booklist, vol 114, number 13, p20)
  • An eight-year-old girl named Nenny with a “natural predilection for alarm” is at the center of Summerfield’s perceptive novel (following Everything Faces All Ways at Once) about growing up in a fractured family at the end of the Cold War. The anxious third-grader lives in Southern California with her brothers, mother, and two stepsiblings at her new stepfather’s house and spends every other weekend with her beat-down dad in his sad apartment. Her mother no longer has time enough to soothe her fears, her stepdad doesn’t relate well to kids, and her new siblings resent the intrusion, so a new Brady Bunch they are not. The episodic story flows along through Nenny’s upbringing and includes vignettes like a family trip to the trailer park to see if Nenny’s stepdad’s ex-wife is safe from her new husband. The author occasionally puts adult thoughts in Nenny’s head, but mostly the girl’s voice is just right and features an authentically childlike logic. Interspersed with the narrative are chapters that spin out Nenny’s various fears and obsessions—home invasions, Gorbachev, whether her stepdad killed people in Vietnam—effectively revealing a sensitive child too young to make sense of her changing world. Summerfield goes overboard foreshadowing a tragedy, deflating the dramatic tension a bit. Nonetheless, the conclusion is unsettling and realistic, and fits the way the story evolves—this slice-of-life story, though not heavy on plot, moves clearly and confidently. (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed 02/26/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 9, p)
  • Summerfield, author of the short story collection Everything Faces All Ways at Once, presents a coming-of-age story set in 1988 Southern California. Eight-year-old Nenny's mother makes the earth-shattering decision to get a divorce, which means Nenny and her two brothers can only see their father every other weekend. As Nenny comes to terms with her parents' split, her mother forms a relationship with divorced Rick, who has two children of his own, forcing Nenny to adapt to a new home with new siblings who are also having trouble adjusting. When Rick's ex-wife is found murdered, the household is turned upside down and Nenny and her brothers are sent to live with their father, while Rick and his family try to make sense of this tragedy. Once again, Nenny and her brothers have to learn to live in an unfamiliar environment while making weekend visits to their mother and the house they were beginning to call home, although clearly things are not the same as when they left. VERDICT Heartbreaking and witty, this first novel portrays the lows and triumphs of family life. Highly recommended. --David Miller (Reviewed 03/15/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 5, p90)
  • A young girl haunted by an impending sense of doom navigates the year after her parents' divorce in 1980s suburbia. "It is 1988 and America is full of broken homes," begins Summerfield's domestic period piece. "America's time is measured in every-other-weekend-and-sometimes-once-a-week....Her children have bags that're always packed and waiting at the door." And so it is for 8-year-old Nenny and her brothers, who split their time between their mother's house—where they live with her new husband, Rick, and his two kids from his first marriage—and their father's grim apartment. But Nenny is anxious by nature, with "a natural predilection for alarm " and a deep-seated belief that "whatever can go wrong, will go wrong," although for most of her life—divorce excepted—it hasn't. Still, she is haunted by catastrophic scenarios inspired by the news and just real enough to be devastating: They all succumb to drought because her brother left the water running. There is a home invasion or an earthquake. Mikhail Gorbachev storms the Sacred Heart Catholic School and recruits Nenny's third-grade class into the Red Army. Mostly, though, Nenny's day-to-day life is ordinary for a precocious kid growing up in the '80s, trying to make sense of her new family setup. She "draws fashions" with her new best friend, Boots, who lives down the hall from her dad; eats fast food; goes to Disneyland. And then something catastrophic does happen, something horrible and gruesome, something Nenny never even thought to anticipate, and Nenny and her family are left to move forward, together. The details feel perhaps just a touch too familiar—the wise child, the distant dad, the mom doing the best she can—but Summerfield creates a sense of time and of place so vivid the specifics of the plot hardly matter. Moving but not precious, a gently hopeful novel steeped in late '80s atmosphere. (Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10638536
Cataloging source
FMG
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Summerfield, Zulema Renee
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Children of divorced parents
  • Stepfamilies
Label
Every other weekend : a novel, Zulema Renee Summerfield
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1939233
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
282 pages
Isbn
9780316434775
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780316434775
  • (OCoLC)1030158646
Label
Every other weekend : a novel, Zulema Renee Summerfield
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1939233
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
282 pages
Isbn
9780316434775
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780316434775
  • (OCoLC)1030158646

Library Locations

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    • Windsor Park BranchBorrow it
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