Kathleen is a young thirteen year old girl dealing with the thoughts and emotions of a young teenager and the additional struggles of having disconnected parents. As she is dragged along to another “artist colony” with her artist mother who is seemingly ignorant of her daughter’s feelings, Kat resigns herself to another long summer. She feels abandoned by her father, who doesn’t care enough to join them, and is angry at her mother for being wrapped up in her own artist world.
Kathleen begins the summer with a bitter attitude and seems determined to not enjoy herself. She resists efforts in friendship from resident 16 year old, Malcolm, who has down syndrome. She could care less about others and runs away at one point, only to stumble into a church camp, who safely returned her home with a Bible. Later, Kat would look back at that as a defining time in her life when the Lord’s hand was clearly apparent in her life.
As the summer continues, so does Kat’s sullenness, but she starts to notice Malcolm’s happy selfless attitude and also that of his eccentric caregiver, Jeanette. Despite her repeated rebuttals, they continue to show her love and friendship and it becomes obvious to Kat that there is something different about them. Throughout continued family problems with her mom, dad, and grandparents, Kat realizes there is something solid and peaceful about Malcolm and Jeanette. They had far from ideal lives, yet they lived so differently from her. By the end of the summer, Kat is forced to look deep into her own heart as Malcolm’s health comes into jeopardy.
The author, Nan Corbitt Allen, writes with a candor and style that really paints a deep picture of emotions. It was wonderful to read of Kat’s change of heart. This is a good, coming-of-age story and one that I think all of us can relate to, to some extent or another.
Buy It: You can buy Watercolor Summer on Amazon.com or other retail bookstores.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Ariel from Bring it On Communications for providing me with this book to read and review. This was not a paid post and the opinions are solely my own and were not influenced by the sponsor.