Be True to Me by Adele Griffin
Welcome to the summer of 1976. Wealthy East Coast family dynasties escape the sweltering streets of New York City by retreating to Fire Island. Navigating the carefully orchestrated summer rituals belonging to this elite social class, days are filled with bike rides and beachfront sunbathing, tennis games and secret rendezvous. Evenings belong to long-standing traditions such as Punch Night and the Lobster Party.
Jean Custis discovers that this year's summer offers the promise of much more. Hiding behind the shadow of her older sister Daphne, Jean sees her chance to shine when she realizes that this year Daphne will be in Europe."A whole summer of no Daphne felt too good to be true." She meets Gil Burke, nephew of her godfather Carpie Burke. Gil has become his uncle's protégé, working in the city for his prestigious law firm. This summer he is a guest at the Burke's island summer cottage. Handsome, and oozing with southern charm, Gil becomes the object of Jean's desire.
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The rivalry between Jean and Fritz escalates during the sultry days of June and July. What starts are a competition for domination on the tennis courts quickly moves off court and becomes an all- consuming contest to claim the attention and affections of Gil. Knowing that his future rests on maintaining his status with his uncle, Gil straddles his loyalties between the two girls. "I don’t want you and me to get more complicated than we are already."
When "Young Americans" came on, I clapped for it. "I love this song!"
Griffin has a way with words. Her turn of phrase often has a particularly pungent bite and sting. "But suppressing all my hope was something else. It was like trying not to inhale its perfume, or maybe its poison." An intoxicating summer read.