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It was in the Spring of 1964 that my 3rd grade teacher recommended that I read Mary Lamer's, "Cottage On The Curve". I was hesitant about reading it for a few weeks, but at last I followed my teacher's advice. To this day I am grateful for Miss Scalzitti's recommendation and to Mary Lamer's for writing such a wonderful book. It was written in 1945 and there are a couple of terms within that were reflective of the times. I omit those now, as I did when I first read it, and hope other readers had such a good experience reading the book as I did. The story is about a family who annually move to their cottage every year for the Summer, but this particular year the children don't believe they'll be able to do so. Circumstances change and they go to Oak Lake and have wonderful Summer adventures. Reading "Cottage On The Curve" was a godsend for me and here's why.
My paternal Grandfather retired in 1953, and purchased a Cabin on beautiful Johnson Lake in Woodruff, Wisconsin to spend his retirement years. Along with my family, my Aunt, Uncle and Cousins would accompany us there every year and what great times we had! When Grandpa died, the Cabin went to my Dad and our good times continued for several years. When I was 7 years old, it became necessary to put our Cottage/Cabin up for sale. Losing it made me feel as if I'd been kicked out of Heaven and I was inconsolable.
"Cottage On The Curve" healed my soul and through reading it, I was transported once more to our vacation home. From cover to cover I could identify with the Murray family. The Murrays were so like my own family that I could easily picture myself, my brother and my cousins in them. From the excitement of leaving for the cottage, everyone jamming into cars to go into town, 4th of July celebrations, and the pangs of sadness of having to leave at the end of Summer, the book touched on my feelings and acted as a balm. I so understood Jane (the heroine of the book), and was amazed that the author and I had so much in common.
About 7 years ago, I had the great, good fortune to find a copy of "Cottage On The Curve" in an antique store while visting Ashland, Wisconsin. I paid for it quickly to be sure it was mine and I guarded it like a lost treasure. (I'm sure those around me thought I was nuts because when we left the store my cousin asked me why I was so excited.) Every year, at the beginning of Summer, I read the book as an annual ritual just before I leave for my Summer vacation in Wisconsin.
I don't know if Mary Lamers is still alive or any of her relatives. But, if they are, I hope they will see this "review" and know how much I appreciated Mary and her book.
Kevin Boyle
Chicago, IL
 

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