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Sweet Summer: Growing up with and without My Dad

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This acclaimed memoir by Bebe Moore Campbell, the bestselling author of Brothers and Sisters and Singing in the Comeback Choir, recalls the sweet summers spent with her father--an extraordinary man of dreams and inspiration--in the American South of the 1960s. "Unforgettable." --New York Times Book Review "Fearlessly unveils the pain of loss and the ecstasy of love. I am gra This acclaimed memoir by Bebe Moore Campbell, the bestselling author of Brothers and Sisters and Singing in the Comeback Choir, recalls the sweet summers spent with her father--an extraordinary man of dreams and inspiration--in the American South of the 1960s. "Unforgettable." --New York Times Book Review "Fearlessly unveils the pain of loss and the ecstasy of love. I am grateful for Bebe Moore Campbell and for such a Sweet Summer." --Maya Angelou "Mature insight, as well as a deft gift for language, gives this memoir its poignant, honest shape." --Chicago Tribune "An uplifting reflection on family love." --San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle "A remarkable achievement." --Philadelphia Inquirer "Poignant...a beautiful tribute." --Newsday "Campbell is a master." --Entertainment Weekly "Touching....[A] candid account and loving tribute to a special man." --New York Daily News


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This acclaimed memoir by Bebe Moore Campbell, the bestselling author of Brothers and Sisters and Singing in the Comeback Choir, recalls the sweet summers spent with her father--an extraordinary man of dreams and inspiration--in the American South of the 1960s. "Unforgettable." --New York Times Book Review "Fearlessly unveils the pain of loss and the ecstasy of love. I am gra This acclaimed memoir by Bebe Moore Campbell, the bestselling author of Brothers and Sisters and Singing in the Comeback Choir, recalls the sweet summers spent with her father--an extraordinary man of dreams and inspiration--in the American South of the 1960s. "Unforgettable." --New York Times Book Review "Fearlessly unveils the pain of loss and the ecstasy of love. I am grateful for Bebe Moore Campbell and for such a Sweet Summer." --Maya Angelou "Mature insight, as well as a deft gift for language, gives this memoir its poignant, honest shape." --Chicago Tribune "An uplifting reflection on family love." --San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle "A remarkable achievement." --Philadelphia Inquirer "Poignant...a beautiful tribute." --Newsday "Campbell is a master." --Entertainment Weekly "Touching....[A] candid account and loving tribute to a special man." --New York Daily News

30 review for Sweet Summer: Growing up with and without My Dad

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Rocco Marotta

    4,5

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This is the third book I have read by this author and I find that I love her more each time I read her. This book was a memoir, a recollection of her life growing up between an urban setting run by her mother and grandmother-"the bosoms", and the summers spent in the rural community of North Carolina with her father's people. It is also a tribute- to her father and all the other important men in her life. The contrasts in her life were many. Going between a professional mother who had made a pla This is the third book I have read by this author and I find that I love her more each time I read her. This book was a memoir, a recollection of her life growing up between an urban setting run by her mother and grandmother-"the bosoms", and the summers spent in the rural community of North Carolina with her father's people. It is also a tribute- to her father and all the other important men in her life. The contrasts in her life were many. Going between a professional mother who had made a place for herself within the city social services dept., and her father, a paraplegic who lived by sheer determination. At first the book starts out almost lyrical but then quickly settles into going more of a chronological tale of what she remembers about her family, church, school, dancing, dating, music, civil rights, important historical events. She portrays everything with honesty about her feelings as well as a humorous tone. One of the sadder things that struck me was when she asked her father if she could go to the library for more books. Her father said that was complicated. Little did she realize growing up in Philly and having access to all kinds of cultural resources that in his North Carolina community it was a white only library. And how sad for a father to have to try to explain that. He never did but managed to bring home enough books to keep her occupied for the rest of the summer. Now that's a dad! There are also many funny parts, many centered around her 2 grandmothers, as well as school yard pranks. This definitely was a feel good book in that she tried to show any struggles she faced in a positive light and she shows her gratefulness for having had the kind of parents and mentoring that has helped her flourish. Warning-if you are not familiar with African American vernacular, you might want to keep urban dictionary handy. This is the second book that I have read by her that would make a good discussion/study of race relations during difficult historical times in America. I would recommend putting this on high schoolers reading lists.

  3. 4 out of 5

    RYCJ

    I simply loved this book through and through; from the touch and feel of the cover, to the sights, sounds and feeling of what’s being depicted… starting with Bebe as a child sitting on the steps sucking her thumb anxiously waiting for her paraplegic father to drive up to the house, retrieving her to spend yet another summer with him in the South; to her grandmothers, her mother and aunts…who she refers to as the bosoms, to the many men, in addition to her dad, who guide her through life; along w I simply loved this book through and through; from the touch and feel of the cover, to the sights, sounds and feeling of what’s being depicted… starting with Bebe as a child sitting on the steps sucking her thumb anxiously waiting for her paraplegic father to drive up to the house, retrieving her to spend yet another summer with him in the South; to her grandmothers, her mother and aunts…who she refers to as the bosoms, to the many men, in addition to her dad, who guide her through life; along with the ironies, culture beliefs and occasional clashes and overall relatedness of her memories… there just simply is too, too much to comment on. In general I really felt for her cousin Michael… got a good chuckle out of that ‘no bread’ (as in money) ‘no meat’ put in a sandwich, and was overjoyed by the overriding message of the narrative making the distinction how the QUALITY of time fathers spend with children affect their lives. Highly recommended!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ashti

    This book is about how author Bebe Moore Campbell (who left this earth in 1996) grew up in a divided world—between her mother's house in Philadelphia and the "sweet summers" spent South with a disabled father. Sweet Summer is her acclaimed account of those years, a story of finding her father in a fractured family. A wonderful book!!! This book is about how author Bebe Moore Campbell (who left this earth in 1996) grew up in a divided world—between her mother's house in Philadelphia and the "sweet summers" spent South with a disabled father. Sweet Summer is her acclaimed account of those years, a story of finding her father in a fractured family. A wonderful book!!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    April

    I read this book when I was in seventh grade and wanted to be a writer. She signed my copy and encouraged me. I remember being very excited about reading it because I knew her, so of course I found it quite interesting.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Told from the perspective of a young African-American girl as she grows to a young woman, "Sweet Summer" is a heart touching account of the universal progression of a child's understanding of her parents. From idealization to knowledge to anger to understanding, the young girl learns to see her parents as human, loving yet imperfect. Campbell's memoir is a beautiful depiction of what can be a painful process. For the non-African-American reader the book is an open window into the culture of the Told from the perspective of a young African-American girl as she grows to a young woman, "Sweet Summer" is a heart touching account of the universal progression of a child's understanding of her parents. From idealization to knowledge to anger to understanding, the young girl learns to see her parents as human, loving yet imperfect. Campbell's memoir is a beautiful depiction of what can be a painful process. For the non-African-American reader the book is an open window into the culture of the 1960's when the south and the north were dual homes for so many. Learning to live and thrive in such different environments was a necessity as well as a talent. In addition to the adult reader, I can also recommend the book for young white women needing to learn about themselves and others.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Read years and years ago, no distinct recollection

  8. 5 out of 5

    Yulia

    I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. The writing is intelligent and witty, the plot - fairly fast-paced and highly engaging; the characters are very well-developed, multidimensional and relatable - little Bebe, for example, seemed like someone I could've been good friends with when I was her age, and her mother - oh, I want to her give a standing ovation! All in all, a truly heart-warming read. And here are some quotes that really stood out for me: "I was seven years old, sitting on the fron I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. The writing is intelligent and witty, the plot - fairly fast-paced and highly engaging; the characters are very well-developed, multidimensional and relatable - little Bebe, for example, seemed like someone I could've been good friends with when I was her age, and her mother - oh, I want to her give a standing ovation! All in all, a truly heart-warming read. And here are some quotes that really stood out for me: "I was seven years old, sitting on the front steps waiting for my dad to come and take me to summer." "How he forced the sadness from his eyes I do not know. Only one time did I witness him mourning the life he might have had. It was a terrible moment, but a healing one. That split second taught me that the best part of my father, the jewel stuck deep inside his core, was determination."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ursula Shelton

    I loved this book; it was about the summers the BeBe Moore Campbell spent with her dad in North Carolina. We must admit that the Carolina's a beautiful in just about any season, but they were extra special to BeBe. Even though her dad was handicap and confined to a wheel chair she valued the time she and her dad spent together. She also valued her cousins and the rest of the family. Four stars for this book, I enjoyed it so much I am going to read it again. I loved this book; it was about the summers the BeBe Moore Campbell spent with her dad in North Carolina. We must admit that the Carolina's a beautiful in just about any season, but they were extra special to BeBe. Even though her dad was handicap and confined to a wheel chair she valued the time she and her dad spent together. She also valued her cousins and the rest of the family. Four stars for this book, I enjoyed it so much I am going to read it again.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I too spent my life in two different camps -- east and west. In Bebe's case, North, and South. Mother, and Father. I find it very moving. I too spent my life in two different camps -- east and west. In Bebe's case, North, and South. Mother, and Father. I find it very moving.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine

    loved this book. sorry to know she passed away 10 years ago.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marcie

    Story of Philly African American girl who visited her father summers in S.C. and her reactions. Fairly well done.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sheryl

    Such a beautiful read! I was enchanted by this wonderful book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    973.0496 C1873 1989

  15. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    Poignant. I love stories that are about father - daughter relationships.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com/... http://rhapsodyinbooks.wordpress.com/...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gigithatsme2

    My first exposure to this amazing author. All of her books including this one are wonderful reading.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Peacock

    I love this book. Wise, and funny and moving. I will read everything that Bebe Moore Campbell has written.

  19. 4 out of 5

    R.K. Byers

    this was pretty good. a little uneven.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Maddie Monaghan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jo'ie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

  23. 5 out of 5

    Niama Roland

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jewell

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeniffer Dacsta

  28. 4 out of 5

    Doris

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lashanda

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stacia

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