In this coming-of-age story, Lorrie Taylor is looking forward to lazing away the long summer days with Sarah, who’s been her best friend since childhood. But Sarah is working at the riding stables and has little time to spend lounging by the pool. The cute stable manager, Thomas, seems interested in Lorrie, but even his welcome attention doesn’t make up for the fact that she feels lost in her own hometown.
Then Lorrie lands a job with renowned photographer Molly Price, who has become a recluse. The prickly old woman isn’t the easiest person to get along with, but Molly Price teaches Lorrie about much more than photography.
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Lorrie’s 15th summer developed, literally, differently from what she expected. Spending a year with her dad and stepmom while her mom moved to California, she anticipates a summer of lazing by the pool with her best friend Sarah. Instead, Sarah gets a job at a riding stable and Lorrie winds up assisting her stepmom, who has quit her law job to help a famous elderly photographer put her affairs in order. Though at first intimidated by the cranky 91-year-old woman, Lorrie is immediately drawn to Molly’s expressive photos of people, each one conveying a story—the Vietnam soldier, for instance. Noticing Lorrie’s interest in her photos, Molly offers her the use of her darkroom. This relationship and the photography correlation with life are compelling. Other nuances lend credibility and sensitivity: a budding romance with the young stable manager, Lorrie’s fear of horses, Molly’s frail health and eventual stroke, and refreshingly intelligent and adjusted divorced parents. Through the eye of the camera, Lorrie discovers her strengths, creativity, and the realization that humanity can be recorded in visual images. Believable, empathetic, and definitely in focus. (Fiction. 12-16)