Barefoot Girls - Tara McTiernan (2012)

Hannah has grown up with the love of her mother Keeley and three godmother aunts Zooey (Zo), Pam and Amy, known to all as the "Barefoot Girls". This title was bestowed on them through their years of close friendship and summer lifestyle on Captain's Island where they go everywhere barefooted. All from different backgrounds, with the full range of home life scenarios, these four women share an amazing bond forged throughout their long friendship. When Hannah writes a book which is reviewed by the local papers, her relationship with all of the "Barefoot Girls" is threatened. Her mother, who believes the book targets her unfairly, disowns her and it is only through the love of her aunts that Hannah is given the keys to the Barefooter house on Captain's Island and sent to find herself. The Barefooter house is the home and heart of the four women's friendship. Not lived in, as all four women have their own houses on the island, it remains for all as their retreat to go to and enjoy their friendship and "Mean Greens", a secret drink that only the Barefooters have the recipe for. Hannah was last in the clubhouse when she was 12 before being barred from it by her mother. Hannah arrives on the island confused and hurting. Not only does she have issues in her relationship with her mum but also in her relationship with her fiance Daniel and just who is her Dad and what is his story? At this point I couldn't put this book down and just wanted to read on and on so immersed did I become in every character and each little twist of it. (LM)

Barefoot Girls, by Tara McTiernan, focuses on a troubled mother-daughter relationship and tight friendships. The summary says: "When her hometown newspaper reviews Hannah O'Brien's newly released novel, the nature of her book is called into question when the reviewer suggests it is a memoir depicting her neglectful alcoholic mother - Keeley O'Brien Cohen, the most beloved of the Barefoot Girls - a little too accurately for fiction, citing rumors rather than sources. Deeply hurt and betrayed, Keeley cuts Hannah out of her life. Desperate, Hannah does everything she can to apologise and explain, but her pleas fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile, the rest of Hannah's life starts to unravel, pushing her to risk her engagement to Daniel, the one man who had been able to scale the high walls around her heart. At the eleventh hour, the Barefoot Girls are able to convince Keeley to send Hannah the keys to the Barefooter house, the home and heart of their friendship. Barred from their clubhouse since she was twelve, Hannah grabs the chance to visit the little shack filled with memories and perched at the tip of Captain's Island in the Great South Bay on Long Island, New York. As Hannah battles to come to terms with her equally blessed and troubled childhood and understand her mother and her sister-close friends, she's confronted with the power of forgiveness and the dangers of holding on to the past."

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