In the summer of 1971, three very different girls are sent to a high-class Swiss boarding school (a summer camp for the rich--French classes, horse riding, cooking classes, etc.) for the summer months. Vivien's the daughter of a persecuted Cuban dignitary, escaping a summer of family troubles and estrangement. What she can't leave behind are her worries about her expanding waistline and self-consciousness. Shirin is an Iranian princess--and acts like it. Resenting being sent to the school by her parents to "socialize," she doesn't believe any of the girls will hold her interest. Ingrid has never been a rule-follower, relying on herself only and growing up way too fast. Sent as a last resort by her parents, she doesn't intend to make it a tame trip.
When the three meet, they inexplicably take to one another. Through three summers and an odyssey of hi-jinks, failures, crushes, triumphs, tragedies, and revelations, they manage to change each other's lives. And find themselves in the process.
This book is awesome because it touches on such a big range of cultures and issues and experiences. I'm not going to say it was better than the Sisterhood series, but it was as good in a different way. It was almost rougher somehow, more intense and very moving. Highly recommended. (Noted: high school maturity level). It resides at Kettleson. Seriously, try it out.