Set in the US just after WWII, this book is narrated by 15yr old Evie Spooner.
She is the only child of devastatingly beautiful Beverley Spooner and a loving stepfather, Joe. Joe has a chain of appliance stores, reaping the new-found wealth of Americans after the war, however, it seems there are question marks over how he raised the money for them.
Unexpectedly he takes Evie and her mother on a holiday to Florida, a four day drive from their home in Queens.
This is an opportunity for Evie to blossom, to experience first love - but all is not as it seems. The young GI, Peter Coleridge, who sweeps Evie off her feet, is formerly from Joe's platoon. He seems to know a lot more about Joe than Joe is happy with.
Everything comes to a head as a furious typhoon sweeps the coast, reaping chaos and mayhem over the whole area and irrevocably changing Evie's life.
All the characters are beautifully drawn, Evie, a teenager desperate to make the jump into adulthood but in many ways very naive, her mother, a Marilyn Monroe look-alike, the salesman step-father, plus several other guests at the hotel.
Unfortunately I didn't feel the court case presented a true test of Evie's allegiancies, though I'd spoil the plot if I explained why.
Definitely a good read but not quite 5 stars.
The cover is striking - a flyleaf depicting a young Evie from the 40's and an inner cover showing her beautiful mother - a woman of her time.