Facing the Sun

S. & S. Aug. 2020. 416p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534406049.
Gr 8 Up–Pinder Street, on the Caribbean island of Nassau, is changing. A hotel just bought up the last stretch of beach where the locals could go to relax. But it’s not just the hotel that is changing in the neighborhood; old friendships are put to the test while new ones are forged. This book is told through the perspective of four girls on the island, each with a secret. Eve is the pastor’s daughter and the oldest of five kids who takes care of her whole family; KeeKee is a poet with an estranged father; Faith is a dancer in love with a boy who belongs to someone else; Nia longs to get away from her overprotective single mother. When these four girls come together, they realize their friendships make them stronger. Since each chapter is told from one of their perspectives, it takes a while to get to know them, and the ending is a little anticlimactic. But Mather has a very conversational, engaging writing style, making this feel like a quick read even though it clocks in at over 400 pages.
VERDICT An enjoyable friendship novel about change, acceptance, and being honest with each other. A great addition to libraries where books like Ann Brashares’ “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” series is popular.

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