CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 27. . . .March 16, 2018
Golden Hour. (A Pippa Greene Novel).
Toronto, ON: ECW Press, May, 2018.
180 pp., trade pbk., PDF & ePub, $11.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-77041-235-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77305-144-4 (PDF), ISBN 978-1-77305-143-7 (ePub).
Grades 8-12 / Ages 13-17.
Review by Chris Laurie.
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.
“Do all the teachers talk?”
“It definitely helps, since not many of us know sign language.” He chuckles. “Sorry, I’ll be serious. What do you mean?”
“Nothing. Or, I just mean, like, about stuff. Like if one teacher knows something, do you all know? Like, say, if someone gets a detention or cheats on a test or something. Is that what you guys spend your time talking about in the lounge?”
I pull into the driveway and put the car in park
“Hmmm,” he says. “Well, there’s a lot of talk about sports. Baseball, football, a bit of golf, that sort of thing. But if you’re asking if I heard about you getting waitlisted, yes, it came up. I don’t know that all the teachers know, but Mr. Aquila asked me how things were going for you at home, and it came out.”
“Great. When did you find out?”
“Did you tell my mom?”
“Are you sure?”
I undo my seatbelt and turn to face Hank. He’s already looking at me. “Pippa, whatever your reason is for telling your mom you got in when you didn’t is your business. I don’t agree with it and I think you’ve to decide when you’re going to tell her the truth, but this is between you two.”
“I’ve got it under control. So you don’t have to worry.”
“Alright, Hey—“ Hank reaches over and puts a hand on my shoulder. “You know yourself best. And if you ever want to talk about anything, in confidence, just let me know.”
The stakes are high in this fourth and final entry in the “Pippa Greene” series. Pippa has put all of her eggs in one basket: she has applied only to Tisch’s photography program. After waiting what seems like forever, Pippa finally receives a letter from Tisch: she has been waitlisted! To make matters worse, her mother misunderstands a text and thinks Pippa has been accepted into the program!
Desperate to get into Tisch’s elite program (and to not disappoint her mother), Pippa makes the trip to New York to meet with the program’s director. His advice? Expand your experiences, try new things, to not take pictures and live life; don’t be afraid to fail. Pippa comes away from the meeting reeling as she has always so firmly believed that photography was her life.
Golden Hour finds Pippa doing more soul-searching than any prior novel in the series. Has she, in fact, always wanted to pursue photography? Or has it been her attempt to hold on to a part of her father? While in New York, Pippa meets up with her friend Ramona, and the two spend the day together lunching, shopping, and impulsively sneaking into a concert. The girls are quickly discovered and are on the verge of being bounced when, who should appear from the shadows, but Pippa’s first love, Dylan McCutter. The two quickly fall back into a comfortable friendship. Or is it more?
Pippa returns home and resolves to try doing the opposite of everything she’s done previously: she quits the school photography club, she throws a huge party while her mother is out of town, she gets her driving license… in short, she begins to live life. Is this what it will take to get her into Tisch?
As always, Guertin has written a complex, likeable character in Pippa Greene. While maintaining focus on the her main character, Guertin has also created secondary characters that are all fully realized, especially Pippa’s mother, whose backstory is explored during a Gilmore Girls pizza night chat between the two. Best friend Dace and love-interest Dylan also emerge as complex characters. All this occurs while Guertin wraps up most of the loose ends in this four book series.
We have spent the last few years sharing Pippa’s life: the challenges, the losses, the joys… And with so much to enjoy in this final novel, the last pages brought to mind the PT Barnum quote: “Always leave them wanting more.” I would love to know what life has in store for Pippa. It’s hard to say goodbye to a longtime friend.
Chantel Guertin is the author of the “Pippa Greene” series as well as the novels Stuck in Downward Dog and Love Struck. An on-air beauty expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, she loves lip gloss, cookie dough, and anything in her favourite colour: sky blue. She lives in Toronto.
Chris Laurie is an Outreach Librarian at the Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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University of Manitoba
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