The book is an immersive experience. It delves into a friendship between three girls rarely seen nowadays (I personally haven’t, given most people’s frequent movement). The picture painted shows both the good and the bad of an older time, with lesser supervision which comes with its own issues.
Our narrator is an old woman now and is talking of her childhood and one summer in particular. They learned a few lessons from the summer, but they do not get the full impact of it till they get older. The focus is on our boisterous trio, the ‘tree musketeers’ ( I found this moniker very apt and fun to keep encountering over the narrative). Their summer begins with a list of things they intend to do but the heat and the presence of a mental health institution close by adding extra dimensions to their situation. We are shown as well as expertly told of all the people in the town (who are essential to the narrative) and what their individual days look like. There is continuing darkness hanging on the tale’s telling because we know something big is set to happen.
I liked the voices’ age because, despite their constant snooping, they only understand parts of what happens around them. They are perceptive but not worldly enough to completely absorb all the information. This was refreshing because children rarely sound their ages in books that I end up reading. The book does bring up how people different from the norm were treated in their small town at the time, from skin colour to sexual orientation, I will refrain from mentioning how because I might be giving away more than I usually do in my reviews.
It is slow in parts while swift in others, overall I was invested in the outcome although I would have wanted to know how they all ended up the way they did in our current time (family etc.).
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.