It's August 1952, and seven-year-old Nickel sets off for a day at the seashore with her mother, aunt, and cousin Leroy. Everyone is excited when they reach Chesapeake Bay-everyone except for Leroy, who is recently motherless and frightened of the world around him. Nickel delights in tormenting her cousin, but, as the group lounges on the beach and begins work on a magnificent sand castle, the sisters try to coax him out of his shell by telling stories about their own childhood trips to the shore. However, Nickel's taunting of Leroy escalates, and the family history between her mother and aunt rises to the surface-and then a crab bites Leroy, and they must all come together. Only years later can Nickel see that day for what it truly was-a life-changing lesson about family and the pleasure and heartbreak that comes with it.
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by Rita Mae Brown
by Rita Mae Brown, Sneaky Pie Brown
"On a summer day in 1952, 7-year-old Nickel, her mother, her aunt, and her cousin, 8-year old Leroy, have come to the seashore. Her aunt's daughter (Leroy's mother) has recently died, and while the two women try to coax Leroy out of his doldrums, Nickel finds pleasure in taunting and torturing him, with a particularly nasty reference to his penis. Havoc in this family prevails until Leroy is bitten on his privates by a crab--and the four find themselves bonding. Narrator Marguerite Gavin infuses the women with strength and fortitude, but the children seem forced into their roles. The plot proceeds at a relaxed tempo at first, then slogs its way to the ending. Not Rita Mae Brown's best effort. M.T.B. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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