THE GAP YEAR by Sarah Bird [Review]


It’s not often that a book makes me literally LOL, but after page two of The Gap Year I was rolling. The overprotective–though loving–and eccentric mother portrayed in those first few pages had me immediately hooked.

It’s ironic, though, how much I laughed in those first couple pages because Bird’s novel isn’t comedy.

Cam Lightsey is a single mother after her husband, Martin, left her and their daughter to join a religious cult. Sixteen years later, her daughter Aubrey has disappeared days before she’s supposed to start college. Both of them go through an identity crisis–Mom tries to figure out who she is sans daughter and Aubrey searches to find herself after years of letting her mother say and do for her.

My favorite part of the book is the viewpoints. The story is told from both Cam and Aubrey’s points of view. Cam tells the story of the days leading up to Aubrey’s disappearance and Aubrey tells her story from her senior year of high school when she realized her identity was hidden so deep she didn’t even know how to find it.

Aptly titled–in more ways than one–the novel focuses on the gap between mother and daughter. I love the uniqueness of the voices. Cam works as a lactation consultant, and the juxtaposition of fresh new moms with Cam’s competence makes her own disjointed relationship with her daughter even more ironic, yet Bird tells the story in such a tender way that I found myself cheering for both Cam and Aubrey as they search for themselves. She tells the story in such a way that I identified with the relationship.

The fact is, there are endless ways for me to gush about how fantastic this book is; how much I loved the humor, the wit, the characters, so on and so forth, but honestly, this is a book that you’ll have to read and enjoy for yourself.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Knopf | Pages: 320 | Source: Library | Buy on Amazon

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  • http://twitter.com/sarahbirdwriter Sarah Bird

    Thank you Caitlin and Daemon’s Books for this lovely review. As welcome here in Austin as a cooling breeze!