After pretty much landing her Dream Job at Galaxy Art Supply (a 30% discount AND she'd be working with Ollie, an adorably-tall, tie-wearing painter), Clio discovers that she can't accept it. Her mother has received a fellowship to do some art restoration work... in Kansas. And Clio isn't invited. No, instead Clio will be with her father:
People would call her lucky because she was going to Italy. If she tried to tell them that Italy wasn't going to be so great, she would look like the ultimate spoiled brat. "Daddy's taking me to Italy!" Pouty lips.
No one knew what being with her father was like. No one could see the evidence littered around her. Not just the house, but this room was full of evidence, little pieces of the story. Everywhere she looked, signs of her own former and now impending doom.
Seemingly minutes later, Clio is in Italy, with her father... and his GIRLFRIEND (whose existence Clio had been, up until now, unaware of) on a yacht. Rounding out the crew we have: Elsa, Julia's daughter, who looks like a dairy goddess; Martin, her father's oldest friend; and Aidan, Julia's research assistant, who goes to Yale, is an obnoxious know-it-all, and also (it must be said) very attractive.
Adventure on the high seas, Maureen Johnson-style. Hooray!
I don't know why it's taken me so long to get around to reading this one -- maybe because my library doesn't have it? (Ahem!) It's about friendship and family, with some romance and a little mystery -- basically, classic Maureen Johnson. I was a big fan of the fact that Elsa and Clio hit it off immediately -- so many other authors would have played that relationship up for constant snarking and friction. Definitely give it to any of her fans, but especially to those who loved 13 Little Blue Envelopes. And obviously, it should be included in any 'Summer Reads' display.