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Summer in the Land of Skin
by Jody Gehrman

Category: Fiction / General
320 pages; ISBN: 0373250665

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Summer in the Land of Skin
Jody Gehrman
Red Dress, Aug 2004, $12.95, 320 pp.
ISBN: 0373250665

In San Francisco, twenty-five-year-old Anna Medina is stunned following the death of her father, renowned for the guitars he created for some of the legends like Garcia. Though she rarely connected with him, she feels a deep need to learn more about him. Her obsession over her dad leads to Anna unable to show up at her meaningless data entry job so her boss at After Hours fires her. Her relationship with Derek for the past five years is in a death watch rut so with the groovy encouragement of her Aunt Rosie, Anna decides to track her sire starting with his partner, Elliot Bender in Bellingham Bay, Washington.

Part of Anna’s goal is to learn the trade secrets that her dad and Eliot have horded as well as discovering the essence of who her father was. In Washington State, she soon hears a guitar sound similar to that of her father when she hears Arlan perform. She moves in with Arlan, but has some doubts about the company he keeps including the members of the band; they do drugs and interfere with her relationship with her beloved, but they also befriend her at a time when she needs friends.

This character study focuses on identity as Anna feels lost from more than just her loss and seeks solace in following her illustrious father’s footsteps. Her relationships with her dad’s partner, Arlan, and his friends provide the audience with even more insight to her longing to belong even if it means gin and drugs. Fans will cherish this deep look at one woman’s emotional return to the living following spending a SUMMER IN THE LAND OF SKIN.

Harriet Klausner


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