As a mom to sons, I can’t help but notice that it is never a teenaged boy behind that cart; I’m guessing that boys grab a hoodie and some underwear and head off to their assigned dorm? Sarah Bird references these overflowing shopping carts and mother-daughter duos in The Gap Year.
Cam Lightsey is a lactation consultant, and single mom (that’s a story within itself!) to Aubrey, a fiery girl hidden in a shy clarinetist’s band uniform. When rebellion arrives in the form of heat exhaustion, Aubrey decides to go with it; it’s just the change she’s looking for.
When football star Tyler Moldenhauer starts to show interest in Aubrey, the once starkly independent girl finds herself swooning like the carbon copy cheerleaders that she despises. Even worse, she turns into a know-it-all teen that cares much more about her relationship than her friends, college, or her mom…
The idea of a gap year— often time taken in between high school and college to figure out the future— takes on a whole new meaning when we apply it to the new gap between Cam and Aubrey, the gap between Aubrey and her pre-arranged plans, and the apparent gap in Aubrey’s judgment.
I could not possibly cover all the plot points in this novel, nor would I want to ruin any part of it for you. Twists and turns, and people from the past, help move this book along, and form it into a completely unpredictable story. Despite its un-guessable ending, this story will ring familiar to any mother (whether your child is headed off to college or preschool), or any teenager with an all-knowing mom.
The Gap Year combines emotion and realistic happenings with just enough fictional indulgence to make the hum-drum life of mom and daughter into a thoroughly entertaining story!