Friday 29 June 2018

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
By Kim Fu

Located on the wild coast of British Columbia, Camp Forevermore is a place that girls dream of going.  A week away from parents while hiking, swimming, doing archery and kayaking is a thrilling experience for most.  No one imagines what can go wrong.

Nita, Andee, Dina, Siobhan and Isabel are an average group of pre-teen girls.  Nita and Andee bond immediately. They are tough girls, quick to make the others feel small.  Dina is beautiful and popular – a coveted friend.  Siobhan senses her own deficits and is desperate not to be the outcast.  Tiny Isabel says almost nothing.  As the other girls go about their business, she is not even a consideration.

The five girls are assigned to Jan for their overnight trek to a nearby island.  Jan is older than the average counselor – more like a grandmother.  But she’s tough, no-nonsense and knowledgeable.  Jan deftly leads the girls, each in her own kayak, across the coastal waters to a nearby island.  Each girl worries about this trip but Jan’s take-charge attitude assuages their fears.

Away from the main camp, the unthinkable happens.  Nita, Andee, Dina, Siobhan and Isabel must make some decisions.  On the surface, they come together as a team.  Underneath, their individual survival instincts are bubbling up.  With little food and water, can the girls keep each other alive?  Or will survival of the fittest win the day?

The unfolding tragedy at Forevermore and its aftermath is interspersed with the lives of the girls as they become women.  They are all very different, but all are deeply affected by their terrifying ordeal on a lonely island.  Loves gained and lost, family complications, career triumphs and disappointments, all lie in the future but give us insight into the girls that exist on that fateful outing from Forevermore.

Kim Fu’s novel explores the darkness that lies beneath the surface of every human being.  Lying in wait, the darkness appears when one is torn away from the day to day niceties of civilization.  Each girl experiences her own darkness and learns what she is capable of.

Fu also skillfully examines the way that one incident can weave its way into future lives, forever informing one’s choices.

Readable and absorbing, The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore is a must-read.

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