The town of Yorktide, close to beautiful Maine beaches and the city of Portland, seems like the perfect place to raise a family. For Jane Patterson, there’s another advantage: her best friend, Frannie, lives next door, and their daughters, Rosie and Meg, are inseparable.
Then, in the girls’ freshman year of high school, everything changes. Jane’s daughter, Rosie—quiet, shy, and pretty—begins to be bullied by a clique of older girls. When Meg betrays their friendship, Rosie suffers an emotional breakdown.
Blaming Meg and Frannie, Jane tries to help Rosie heal while dealing with her own guilt. In the succeeding months, each struggles with the notion of forgiveness, of knowing when a friendship has ended—and when it can be salvaged, one moment at a time…
"Friends are forever in this exploration of bullying—a troubling hot-button topic that comes into shocking focus here for two families torn apart by a heartless clique of mean girls. Sweet and sensitive Rosie, an only child, spirals into a dangerous depression and breakdown—including “cutting” and anorexia—after she’s targeted by a crew of nasty teens and then betrayed by best friend Meg, who blurts out an embarrassing secret to the bully pack. “Meg broke a solemn oath... I feel like dying,” Rosie confides in increasingly heartbreaking and frightening diary entries. The campaign of harassment also drives a painful wedge between the girls’ mothers, Jane and Frannie, who agonize over their children’s pain as well as their own damaged friendship. Even the rock-solid marriage of Rosie’s parents, Jane and Mike, begins to crack under the strain of the cruel harassment, as they both lie about their shared guilt. Chamberlin (Summer Friends) is pitch-perfect in her depiction of Rosie and Meg struggling to grow up, love, and forgive themselves and each other." - Publishers Weekly