It's Memorial Day, 1990, and Margaret Ryan has returned from Vermont to the Ontario cottage country where, thirty-two years before, she had vacationed with her disintegrating family at a lakeside resort. For herself and her sister Daisy, it was a time of awakening, a time of discovery.
Both of the girls fall in love with two of the local boys. Daisy, on the lookout for action, cruising the dances at the resort, can't deal with what she initiates, and falls victim toher own confusion and naiveté. Not even the neighbour, the eccentric, bourbon-drinking, cigar-smoking Mrs. Crump, who knows all the fairy-tale spells to capture the heart of a lover, can save Daisy from drowning in her own misadventure.
At the same time, Margaret, bookish and withdrawn, inhabiting a universe defined by poets and novelists, is seduced in spite of herself.
As Margaret, the narrator, watches Maggie, her younger self, relive theinnocence and beauty of that summer, the play moves inexorably back to the heartbreak of a headlong surrender to experience, both won and lost in a single day.
Cinematic in its feel and pacing, recalling the 1950s genre of Dirty Dancing and My American Cousin , That Summer is a meditation on what endures of fleeting moments over time.
Cast of 5 women and 2 men.
Burnaby, B.C. : Talonbooks, 2000.
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