Cover image for Summer in the land of skin
Summer in the land of skin
Gehrman, Jody.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Don Mills, Ontario : Red Dress Ink, [2004]

Physical Description:
314 pages ; 21 cm
Format :


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Summer In The Land Of Skin by Jody Gehrman released on Jul 23, 2004 is available now for purchase.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Anna Medina, 25, is feeling suicidal when she impulsively leaves her San Francisco home for Seattle to track down her dead father's old guitar-making partner, Elliot Bender. Filled with ambitions to become a luthier herself, Anna is sorely disappointed to find Bender unwilling to take up his old trade, or talk about her father's life before he killed himself. Unwilling to go back home, Anna stays in the Land of Skin, and is soon living with a young couple. The woman, Lucy, is mercurial, beautiful, and fully aware of the power she has over others. Her boyfriend, Arlan, is a handsome, magnetic guitar player to whom Anna is immediately attracted. As the summer progresses, Anna is able to inspire Bender to confront the past that she longs to hear about as she constantly assesses her up-and-down friendship with the difficult Lucy and her growing feelings for Arlan. Gehrman's writing is crisp, her observations astute, and her story utterly absorbing and affecting. --Kristine Huntley Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Gehrman's debut skillfully draws the reader into the mind of 25-year-old, emotionally stunted Anna Medina and the universe of damaged folks she encounters in her attempts to "kill [her] father" ("He's dead, but he needs to die a little more") and heal the pain left by his suicide. Chet Medina was a luthier who sold his guitars to Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia; Anna, whose version of living has been observing neighbors through binoculars, decides to go to Bellingham, Wash., to find her father's old guitar-making partner and see if he can help i.e., take her on as an apprentice and tell her about her celebrated, distant father. She is taken in by self-destructive, beautiful Lucy and her quiet, distant boyfriend, Arlan, near the "Land of Skin," a street corner where the faintest hint of sunlight brings out "half-naked natives." Her new friends fight, drink and smoke themselves into a chaotic spiral, and as Anna witnesses their pain and joy she begins to feel alive herself. Gehrman's portrait of a woman deadened from years of grief awakening to a world of emotional risk skillfully avoids maudlin sentiment or hollow histrionics. Her characters are confused, believable and utterly human, which is one of the main reasons the book strikes so many lonely, bewildered and true notes. Agent, Dorian Karchmar. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved