It's spring break of her senior year and Madison Van Buren is fed up. Stressed over Ivy League pressure, her parents' marital problems, and her boyfriend's neglect, Madison gets in her car and drives west. Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old Anna Bronner wants to escape the so-called simple life--which for her consists of caring for younger siblings, sewing, cooking, and gardening--and she's well aware that her future will simply be more of the same with a man she doesn't love. Suddenly, worlds collide when Madison and Anna meet in a small town, realize they look uncannily similar, and decide the grass is definitely greener on the other side.
Readers will love this funny and provocative tale of switching places from bestselling author Melody Carlson. As they get a glimpse into two very different worlds, they may find themselves happy to be just who they are, where they are.
Giving the Parent Trap formula a cross-cultural twist, Carlson (the On the Runway series) creates a satisfying coming-of-age tale. On spring break, Madison, a spoiled Manhattan heiress bored with the relentless demands of her socialite regime, drives to Amish country. There she meets Anna, a hardworking Amish girl about to spend several weeks helping her pregnant aunt's family. Recognizing their incredible physical similarity, the girls exchange wardrobes, deciding to try out each other's lives for a week. Their stories unfold in alternating chapters that chronicle their adventures as they attempt to adapt to starkly different lifestyles while concealing their true identities. The contrasting settings of a lavish penthouse and a rustic farm with no hot water provide fodder for humorous misunderstandings, as well as occasions for each girl to think about her life choices and her relationship with God. Parallel themes run throughout: both girls provide healing to broken relationships in their counterpart's life and gain new appreciation for their own opportunities. Good pacing and colorful supporting characters enhance this predictable but pleasurable read. Ages 12 up.