I am a sucker for camp stories, so of course I loved The Name They Gave Us. Lucy is a pastor’s kid. She’s always been good. She’s dating the perfect gentleman, and they’ve done nothing more than kiss. But when Lucy’s mom’s cancer comes back, she gets angry. Everyone’s platitudes aren’t cutting it anymore. It’s just not fair. She starts swearing, and her boyfriend can’t handle it. It’s seems a little crazy, right? Unless you grew up in a conservative church, this part of the story might be ridiculous. I completely got it.
Lucy’s mom persuades her to take a last-minute job at a camp for troubled kids instead of helping out at their church camp like she normally does during the summer. That camp is right near the church camp, so she is still able to see her parents on Sundays.
Lucy is taken in by a group of other young counselors almost immediately upon getting to camp. She has normal friends for the first time ever, and she is stunned by their honesty and by all of the things they’ve dealt with. She also connects right away to some of the campers. It’s a very touching story. And of course there’s an adorable romance.
The ending is a bit ambiguous, which I think was kind of nice. It’s up to the reader what happens to Lucy’s mom, but that’s not really the point. The point is the truth Lucy’s learned about herself and her own parents. I really loved this book. Parents make mistakes too, and it’s so important to share those with our children, when the time is right.
Rating: 4 Stars