Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Summer People by Kelly Link.
Okay, so I have a couple caveats here. First of all, this is actually just a short story in a collection, edited by Kelly Link called Steampunk!. It’s a bunch of stories by a number of well-known teen authors such as Libba Bray, Garth Nix and, of course, Ms. Link has her own story in there as well. Since I can’t find my copy of Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters (which, by the way, I reviewed for this blog last year) which I really wanted to read I was excited to find this new story of hers in this collection of steampunk-themed tales. Hers is actually not steampunk in the slightest; there is nary a reference to gears or pistons—but hey, she’s the editor, she could publish a recipe in this book if she wanted (which would probably be totally creepy and weird and I’d totally read it)—but I’m actually quite glad. Reading through the other stories I realized that I’m just not that into the whole steampunk thing. Which isn’t to say that they aren’t good; these are some of my favorite authors. I can only take so many gears and smoke and steam.
Which brings us to “The Summer People” which is classic eerie and strange Kelly Link. I’m not going to go too in-depth because it would be hard to. Young Fran lives in some town which enjoys a number of tourists in the summer, and a relatively quiet life in the off-season. She and her father take care of the summer people, getting their houses ready for their annual visits. But there are others they also call the Summer People, who live in a strange, cluttered house in town. They are magical, mysterious, and tricksy. Fran is bound by generations of tradition to care for them, until she can find someone to replace her…