Amy Becker is living in a dysfunctional household with a dominant mother, a father who won’t stand up to her, and a disabled brother. She is overly protective of her brother, Charlie, and has no desire to go to camp for the summer. Who would take care of Charlie while she’s gone? But her worst fears can’t begin to live up to what she faces once she gets there.
A bully named Rory has decided to punish Amy, and some of the other girls go along with her, including Amy’s own cousin Robin. Robin’s father, Uncle Ed, owns the camp, and Amy has to watch her actions, or Robin could cause trouble for her at home. Luckily, one of the other girls, Erin, has decided to be befriend Amy, and the two spend time together away from Rory. But soon Robin starts hinting about Amy’s mother’s past, and Amy starts remembering things from her childhood.
This story takes place first at camp, but then spans several years after the summer is over. In the latter portion, Amy’s mother finally opens up to Amy about her difficult past in Germany, and Amy comes to forgive her.
Camp is a fast-paced novel that hooks the reader from the beginning, but loses its momentum once camp ends. Although most of the secrets are then revealed, the ending felt somewhat anti-climactic, and some of her mother’s actions are never explained.
WARNING: There are graphic sexual references in this book that may be inappropriate for younger readers.
Reviewer: Alice Berger