The Gap Year by Sarah Bird

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Cam has raised her daughter Aubrey alone ever since her ex left to join a cult. But now the bond between mother and daughter seems to have disappeared. While Cam is frantic to see Aubrey, a straight-A student, at the perfect college, on a path that Cam is sure will provide her daughter success and happiness, Aubrey suddenly shows no interest in her mother’s plans. Even the promise of an exciting gap year saving baby seals or bringing clean water to remote villages hasn’t tempted her. She prefers pursuing a life with her wrong-side-of-the-tracks football-hero boyfriend and her own secret hopes.

Both mourn the gap that has grown between them, but Cam and Aubrey seem locked in a fight without a winner. Can they both learn how to hold onto dreams . . . and when to let go to grasp something better? Sarah Bird’s trademark laugh-out-loud humor joins with the tears that accompany love in a combination that reveals the fragile yet tough bonds of mother and daughter.

About Sarah Bird

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Sarah Bird is the author of five previous novels: The Yokota Officers Club, Virgin of the Rodeo, The Mommy Club, The Boyfriend School, and Alamo House. She is a columnist for the Texas Monthly and has written for The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, O Magazine, Glamour, and Mademoiselle, among other publications. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, George, and son, Gabriel.From the Hardcover edition.
Published July 17, 2012 by Gallery Books. 301 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The reasons for the disappearance, which have developed secretly during the preceding 12 months and involve a football jock and ambitions at odds with Cam’s, are chronicled in alternating chapters swapping Aubrey’s sulky teen point-of-view with Cam’s sassy, self-deprecatingly–voiced account of me...

Jul 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Gap Year

Publishers Weekly

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As a lactation consultant, Cam guides new women through their first uncertain days of motherhood, and though single mom Cam (her husband ran off years ago to join a cult) has always been confident in her relationship with her own daughter, Aubrey, a clarinetist in the high school marching band, t...

May 02 2011 | Read Full Review of The Gap Year

Book Reporter

Cam Lightsey's daughter, Aubrey, has been slipping away from her over the past year.

Jul 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Gap Year

Dallas News

The Gap Year Sarah Bird (Knopf, 24.95) Available Tuesday Plan your life Sarah Bird will appear Tuesday, July 12 at A Real Bookstore for “Fierce Words and Stiff Drinks.” Reception starts at 6 p.m.;

Jul 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Gap Year

The Columbus Dispatch

Do shoppers who are increasing their purchases of ammunition have reasonable concerns over future regulation of gun and ammunition sales?

Jul 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Gap Year


Cam Livesey wakes up one day to discover that her teenage daughter Aubrey is missing.

Jul 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Gap Year

Cam blames Aubrey’s new boyfriend, Tyler Moldenhauer, a hip mother’s worst nightmare: “a suburban white-boy, redneck football hero with no plans for college.” The story then dials back exactly 12 months, to the start of Aubrey’s senior year at Parkhaven High School.

Jul 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Gap Year

Huntington News

The trouble with Cam's 17-year-old daughter Aubrey (no, not Audrey, Aubrey...why do parents saddle their kids with impossible names?) is that she's finding herself in ways that are driving divorced single-mother Cam crazy.

Jul 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Gap Year

Shelf Awareness

And that ultimately, it is the tone, the language, the characterization--in other words, our attitude and demeanor, our day-to-day ordinary actions and exchanges, the constant choices we make about how to be with ourselves and how to be with others--that determine whether a story is ultimately fo...

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My San Antonio

involves getting in a car,” Bird has smartly structured the book to cover a year — August 2009 to August 2010 — in the alternating, pitch-perfect voices of Cam and daughter Aubrey.

Jul 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Gap Year

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