Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Miseduation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

In a short summary, this novel is about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.

Grandma Post was baby sitting Cameron, her granddaughter, while Cameron's parents were visiting Quake Lake (an infamous campground turned into a lake after a horrible earthquake). At this time Cameron and her best friend Irene Klauson were shoplifting, which was the same day Cameron's parents died in a car accident, but that's not the only think Cameron feels guilt about that day. While her parents were away, Irene dared Cameron to kiss her, and she did. If that wasn't bad enough in the late 80's, Cameron liked it and was kissing Irene when they received word of her parents' death. Feeling guilty, Cameron begins to push away from Irene, who eventually leaves town to go to a private girls' school where she turns preppy and has a boyfriend. In the meantime, Cameron's Aunt Ruth comes to take care of Cameron with the help of Grandma Post now that Cameron is an orphan. During the summer Cameron begins a friendship with a fellow swimmer named Lindsey, who helps Cameron confront her homosexual feelings. Their summer romance ends and they're forced only to communicate through the phone and letters. In the meantime, Cameron keeps up her friendship with fellow male track star Jamie and a new popular girl Coley, whom Cameron forms a crush. Eventually Coley confronts Cameron about their feelings and, although Coley has a boyfriend, she and Cameron kiss and begin a secret affair until they are nearly caught. When asked about her relationship with Cameron, Coley tells everything, playing the weak victim in Cameron's manipulations. As a result, Aunt Ruth and her future husband send Cameron to a place called Promise, a Christian camp/school set on "healing" teens of these homosexual urges and other sinful ways. There Cameron becomes friends with Jane and Adam, the three of them fighting everything Promise tries to promote while they stay true to themselves and confirming that homosexuality is not something that can be "cured."

The final part of the novel is somewhat unusual, as Cameron dips into Quake Lake to find healing in her parents' death and how she is trying to figure out who she is. It is a very open ended close to the novel since you don't really know where the characters go from there, but there is hope that everything will be okay for them.

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