The storyline of Stained Glass Summer revolves around a 12 year old girl, Jasmine, whose father is an artist and a photographer. Like her father, she is also obsessed by ‘art’ and dreams of being an artist like him. He in turn, fanatical about his ‘art’ and the awards he receives, is very distracted and does not care about his wife and daughter and does not give them much attention and freedom. He finally deserts them and goes looking for ‘art’ in Africa. Jasmine goes to spend her summer on her uncle’s island and finds the meaning of life there. She finds her true love- Cole, the importance of her existence – Sammy, a free environment and much more. There she tries to contact her father, who still seems to be existing only for his ‘art’ and awards and finally decides that she will stay on the island and mentor a 5 year old instead of going back to him. She also finds that true art is all about happiness and satisfaction and not only about awards.
It is basically a story of a little girl who does not receive much affection from her father, but instead does so in a clumsy 5 year old.
The author has used a 12 year old as her mouthpiece to expressively describe the events that happen in life. An adult narrator might have been more objective in the description. The book gives a profound report on what the average pre-teen feels about life. I personally believe undue stress has been laid on the concept of ‘art’ and the little girl's attempts to be something other than what she actually is, has been stretched too far. But the emotional account of the happenings and the events gives a very deep insight of the minds of the characters and goes a long way in making the novel an interesting read.
A good one-time, leisure read indeed.