Friday, May 09, 2014

Painting the Rainbow by Amy Gordon

Cousins Holly and Ivy have been going to the family lake vacation home every summer all their lives.  Generations before them had also done so.  This summer is a little different though.  Ivy and her brother believe their parents are divorcing.  Holly's parents are away teaching summer school and researching a closely held family secret.  Grandpa has brought the Rainbow boat out of storage for the first time in many years.  The girls had never seen it, now they would be helping to restore it to its former rainbow colored glory.  The Vietnam war was in progress and cousins may be called to join the fight or might become conscientious objectors.   The family secret centers on the summer Ivy's father's twin brother died.  That summer WWII was in progress.  One twin was joining up, the other was not.  So in many ways it feels like history is repeating itself.  Ivy, Holly keep finding traces of that long ago summer in letters, pictures, notes stuck in old books.  Randy is asking questions and of course the the rainbow boat had last been used that fateful summer.  Ivy and Holly have issues with maturing as well.  Perhaps Holly is moving on and a once close friendship will either end or change.
This is an easy way to learn about the powerful effects of war on families.  And maybe why secrets should not be kept?  I really liked Ivy and the courage she shows during this pivotal summer.  I don't know that this is a remarkable story or anything.  Issues considered here have been covered before.  But, it is overall enjoyable, short and easy.  I think its worth reading.  Even if you are not into history all that much, the relationship between Ivy and Holly will keep most, girls, especially interested.


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