I was reluctant to read September Girls by Bennett Madison. I heard it was something about mermaids and I thought it wouldn’t interest me. But I needed something to read so I picked it up. I found September Girls to be a tender love story tinged with fantasy.
Sam’s father decides that the boys, Sam, his father and his brother Jeff, should summer in the Outer Banks. It’s been six months since Sam’s mother abruptly left the family, basically to find herself, without the company of men. So, off they go, a trio of unspeaking men. When they get to their destination, they find a town inhabited by the most beautiful girls they’ve ever seen, all perfect, all blonde, all able to toss their hair alluringly. There is something mysterious about them all, besides the fact that they look very much alike.
The story unfolds primarily through Sam’s narrative, interspersed with the story of “we“, the September Girls, the myths and legends that rule their lives.
September Girls is a story of love, of accepting, of sacrifice, of destiny, of growing up. As we (I) age, we want those perfect relationships that sprout and grow almost unannounced. Madison says it so well. “So I waited, and it happened. The way you put your hand on my shoulder. The way you smiled at me when I was talking, the way I’d tell a joke and not even realize it was a joke until you were laughing. The way you kissed me, the way I saw you ambling toward me down the beach, still in the distance. In your small movements and gestures, something happened: the girl you thought I was began to acquire form…and she was beautiful in a way that had nothing to do with what I’d thought of as beauty.”
This is the love I want. I wonder whether it exists other than in books.