Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Firelight Girls

The Firelight Girls

A Novel

Kaya McLaren

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

The summers you spend at summer camp are indelibly etched on your heart. But what happens when the camp you love is about to close? Can you ever really say goodbye to the place that made you who you are? These are the questions that plagues Ethel, the seventy-year-old former camp director who is nursing a broken heart after losing the love of her life as she now faces the impending closure of the camp on Lake Wenatchee that she called home. It's also a question that inspires change in forty-year-old Shannon, who spent the summers of her youth as a vibrant, capable camp counselor and is now directionless after watching her career implode. And there's Laura, who has lost all intimacy with her husband and doesn't know if she can save what seems to be gone forever. Finally, Ruby, who betrayed Ethel years ago and hasn't spoken to her since, hopes this will be her chance to make amends. When the four women learn that a homeless teen has been hiding at camp, they realize camp is something much more immediate for all: survival.

And so the three generations of women search for a way to save the place that saved them all, finding in the process a way back to themselves and each other in The Firelight Girls, Kaya McLaren's novel of love and loss, heartbreak and healing.



ETHEL 2012

Ethel sat across the small table, eating cornflakes and talking to Haddie's urn, which now sat where Haddie's food used to. A few months ago, Ethel had found the urn to be a bit impersonal, and so she...


Praise for The Firelight Girls

“Touching, brilliantly insightful, and deeply compassionate…The Firelight Girls is a story of the places we love and how we never outgrow them, and a sweet reminder that sometimes we have to go back before we can move forward.” —Amy Hill Hearth, New York Times bestselling author of Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years and the national bestseller, Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society

“What a generous, big-hearted book this is. McLaren explores her subjects--friendship, regret, rebirth, the irresistible pull of place--with such tenderness that you'll find yourself wishing you could be a Firelight Girl, too.” —Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Love Walked In

“Presents a sweet, touching view of the evolution of love and friendships. For readers who enjoy Kristin Hannah or Luanne Rice.” —Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Kaya McLaren

KAYA MCLAREN spent four summers in college working at Camp Zanika on Lake Wenatchee in Washington State, and fifteen years later returned to run the teen programs for two more. In addition to her camp experience, she's been an elementary teacher, an art teacher, an archaeologist, and a massage therapist. Although her roots are in Washington, she currently resides wherever the wind takes her.

Kaya McLaren

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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