Saturday, August 29, 2020

Letters From Camp, by Jamie Lee Curtis (author), and a host of narrators I can't find a list of except listening to the audio

Audible Originals, August 2020

Mooky Hooper is eleven years old, and off to summer camp for the first time. Unfortunately, she soon discovers that her mother, Caroline Goodman, now a CNN television journalist, was in her day the very best at any camp activity Mooky might participate in. In the history of Camp Cartwright. With her name and the relevant details of her accomplishments posted. And the camp director, Director Sue, in her enthusiasm at having Caroline Goodman's daughter at the camp, makes sure everyone knows it.

Mooky doesn't necessarily help herself by deciding that she's going to instead concentrate on emulating accomplishments of her mother that she's more familiar and comfortable with--her journalistic accomplishments. It's not long before she's learned of a camper who disappeared from the camp thirty years earlier, and connects this to the camp legend of the Lady of the Lake. She starts investigating. In theory she knows she should be calm and discreet in doing this; in practice, she's eleven, and doesn't always manage to do that.
Mooky and her fellow campers are convincingly real kids, and despite herself, Mooky gradually makes friends over the course of the summer. In a pattern I recall from my own childhood, she finds it easier to make friends with a few sympathetic adults than with other kids, but she does make some friends her own age, too. Being a smart kid unencumbered by an adult's or older kid's experience of the real world, she easily finds evidence for a truly wild conspiracy theory--while also finding evidence that also leads her to a quite real secret.

It's an entertaining and fun, but also thoughtful and kind, story.

This is set in the 2000s, while the Iraq war is ongoing. Because Caroline Goodman is a CNN journalist, this gets referenced from time to time. I've seen a few reviews that have reacted badly to this as "Politics!", but really, no. Events get referred to. There's no real discussion of them.

All in all, very enjoyable.

This is part of the new Audible Plus program, which means I didn't pay for it, and I'm reviewing it voluntarily.

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