Weekend Pick for June 2, 2023
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Sweetness and bitterness live side by side for Lou as she faces working all summer at her family’s creamery full of homemade oranges, blues, and yellows as well as her co-workers newly ex-boyfriend and former best friend. In this space, she feels confusion about her relationship with her ex who never made her feel passion, but rather discomfort while also trying to sort out a new relationship with previous best friend, King, who has returned to their Canadian prairie town after leaving without explanation three years earlier. As Lou begins to sort through her own identity and relationships, she receives a letter from her biological father–someone she hoped would stay away and behind bars for the rest of his life.
Though friendship and healing bring Lou closer to herself and to King, her father’s requests (demands) to meet her become more insistent. She knows she cannot meet him, but when her family business comes under threat, Lou knows she cannot ignore him forever. Drawing together issues of intergenerational trauma, the spectrum of human experience, and how we fight to heal ourselves and each other, The Summer of Bitter and Sweet is a beautifully resonant and sticking story. Lou’s journey exemplifies her observation that, “Sometimes you need one person–and sometimes you need all your people with you” (Ferguson, 342).