Years Later. Mary and I never stopped being friends and we never really lost touch. We just didn’t get to spend much time together and when we tried it as a foursome it never really worked.

Mary, with her baby daughter, Anne—and Judy, front, with Randy. 1961

She became the kindergarten teacher I was trained to be. I started to write, out of loneliness, maybe even desperation. I was the ambitious one, driven and determined, though I didn’t know it at the time.

If Mary were writing this it would be entirely different, I’m sure, and even now I know more about us than I’m telling. Our history runs deep. Our genuine feelings for one another, deeper. We are friends for life. We went through puberty together. College. We married, had babies, went to work, lost parents, and are grandmothers. But when we’re together the years fall away. Isn’t that what matters? To have someone who can remember with you? To have someone who remembers how far you’ve come?


Caitlin and Vix. Is the relationship between Caitlin and Vix in Summer Sisters based on my friendship with Mary? Before I sat down to write these notes I’d have told you absolutely not. Their story is much darker, more seductive, more competitive, and Caitlin and Vix are totally different personalities. Yet it is about two young women from different backgrounds whose friendship begins at twelve and endures.

Vix finds Caitlin irresistable--the danger, the daring, the thrill of becoming a part of her eccentric family. From Vix, Caitlin receives unconditional love. But they are also rivals. After all, one marries the other’s first love. Aside from a ninth grade crush, Mary and I were never in love with the same man. Not that I know of, anyway.


Judy, left, visiting Mary in Maine. Summer, 1980.

Mary, left, visiting Judy on the Vineyard. Summer, 1996.


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