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The Gap Year by Sarah Bird

The Gap Year (edition 2011)

by Sarah Bird

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11416105,887 (3.53)2
Title:The Gap Year
Authors:Sarah Bird
Info:Knopf (2011), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Gap Year by Sarah Bird



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A little tricky reading this book right now, as my daughter gets ready for her senior year and we are overwhelmed with the college search. Luckily (?) (as in the author's "at least that's not mine") there are no huge parallels to the book in my house. There were a couple of odd quirks to this book-- the father's strange life (a la Scientology) and the amount of detail about the mother's life as a lactation consultant (I sense some breastfeeding agitas in her history.)

Overall, however, I found the book lovely. Some good stuff about the barriers to communication we put up all the while whining about barriers to communication, and about the preconceptions about people, especially children, that we make blithely. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
Four stars for making me laugh out loud on one page, and tear up on the next. The author skilfully weaves alternating narratives of a mother and daughter on the brink of the daughter's departure for college. ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 24, 2016 |
What a wonderful book. Single mom Cam is urgently holding it all together during daughter Aubrey's senior year of high school. With the prospect of college and future physical separation breathing down her neck, it's escaping her attention that her once-close relationship with her daughter is unraveling. Aubrey, on the other hand, is growing out of her band-geek persona and develops a friendship with the captain of the football team that she is wants to hid from her mother. As a reader you want to shake them both before locking them in a room together with instructions to talk it out, but that never happens in real life and didn't happen here. I rooted for both of these wonderfully strong and unique women as the senior year flies by. Their voices were unique and resonated with me as the story unfolded. ( )
  wareagle78 | Feb 23, 2015 |
I hesitated between giving this book 2 stars or 3 stars. I would like to give it 2.5 stars. The plot revolves around a single mom who moved to the suburbs, despite her distaste for the conformity of the suburbs, to make sure her daughter got the best education and childhood experience possible. Now it is time for her daughter to be going off to college but over the past year her daughter has been derisively moving away from her and resisting her efforts to get her to college and away from what the mother thinks is the stifling life of the suburbs and her daughter's jock boyfriend. It was a good premise and showed how the best of intentions by parents often backfire in unexpected ways. However, it was marred by attempts at humor that weren't funny and characters that at times seemed too over the top. It moved along quickly though and kept me interested. ( )
  castironskillet | Aug 13, 2013 |
I made some assumptions on this book based on its title before reading it. I was expecting a book about a gap year. I knew it was a mother/daughter novel but I really thought it would be about some kind of traditional year off between highschool and college. It really wasn't that. I think the title gap year was really forced into the novel and for me it didn't make a whole lot of sense given the story and at what point it was told and where it ended up.

Okay. So basically I thought it was pretty engaging. I think the writer has solid storytelling abilities. I didn't mind the more "out there" storyline of the father and his cult. I thought Aubrey's voice sounded reasonably authentic. I liked that I couldn't really figure out where her story was heading.

I had a much harder time with Cam's - the Mother - story. I found her interactions with the daughter unreasonably shrill and lacking in diplomacy. I know she was supposed to be desperate - but it made it hard to feel sympathy for her.

It was also hard for me to read something that was so full of subtle condemnation for people who are unable to breastfeed. I felt like there were little crumbs sprinkled in meant to lighten the blows but basically the message was that if you failed at breastfeeding you didn't try hard enough. This is an incredibly hurtful sentiment for a lot of women. Because this is such a hurtful and divisive issue - I seriously probably wouldn't have read this book if I knew that was an underlying theme. ( )
  alanna1122 | Jun 1, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307592790, Hardcover)

From the widely praised author of The Yokota Officers Club and The Flamenco Academy, a novel as hilarious as it is heartbreaking about a single mom and her seventeen-year-old daughter learning how to let go in that precarious moment before college empties the nest.

In The Gap Year, told with perfect pitch from both points of view, we meet Cam Lightsey, lactation consultant extraordinaire, a divorcée still secretly carrying a torch for the ex who dumped her, a suburban misfit who’s given up her rebel dreams so her only child can get a good education.

We also learn the secrets of Aubrey Lightsey, tired of being the dutiful, grade-grubbing band geek, ready to explode from wanting her “real” life to begin, trying to figure out love with boys weaned on Internet porn.

When Aubrey meets Tyler Moldenhauer, football idol–sex god with a dangerous past, the fuse is lit. Late-bloomer Aubrey metastasizes into Cam’s worst silent, sullen teen nightmare, a girl with zero interest in college. Worse, on the sly Aubrey’s in touch with her father, who left when she was two to join a celebrity-ridden nutball cult.

As the novel unfolds—with humor, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and penetrating insights about love in the twenty-first century—the dreams of daughter, mother, and father chart an inevitable, but perhaps not fatal, collision . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:00 -0400)

A single mom and her seventeen-year-old daughter learn how to let go in that precarious moment before college empties the nest.

(summary from another edition)

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