Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to the 80's with The Clover Girls by Viola Shipman

Welcome to this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's theme is Online Resources for Book Lovers (what websites, podcasts, apps, etc. do you use that make your reading life better?)

I'm not really feeling this week's topic. What I am feeling is the love for The Clover Girls by Viola Shipman. I fell in love with Viola Shipman's writing last year when I read The Heirloom Garden. Over the last month, I have read two more of his books, The Summer Cottage and now The Clover Girls, which I read in a day on Saturday. I can't remember the last time when I read a book from start to finish in a day!

Shipman's books are so soothing and so easy to read, and full of lovely moments. The story starts with three former friends all receiving a letter from Emily. The four women met as girls at Camp Birchwood and promised to be friends forever, but it didn't take long for Elizabeth, Veronica and Eva to fall apart in a spectacular way. Emily has always been the link between them, but when she dies she asks them to spend one week at their former campground and see if they can find their way back to each other.

The idea of a summer camp feels like a very American thing to me, and so while I don't necessary have memories associated with this kind of camp experience, what I did love was all the 80s references! These women would all be pretty close to my age and so their memories bought back lots of my own memories. I don't think I got all the references, for example to the foods that are mentioned, but I did get a lot of them!

Here's a selection of just some of the 80s references from the book!

John Hughes movies - Pretty in Pink, TheBreakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and that's just for starters.

The clothes - Not so much the clothes that I wore, but the clothes that were in fashion. We were never really allowed to wear fashionable clothes. Here I am rocking pink satin. This is the dress I wore to school formal, I think maybe in 1986ish. I have distinct memories of a bright yellow tube skirt that was knee length with a oversize spotty shirt and a big black belt at one point!

Flowers in The Attic
- I wasnt allowed to read it, but it really was the book that everyone at school was reading.

Makeup  - I had mastered the art of pink and blue eyeshadow with blue mascara. I am not sure I have ever mastered eye shadow since.  My favourite lipstick was a similar pink to the dress but it had an opalescence to it. A few years ago I find some nail polish that was similar. Maybe I should do my nails for the first time in 2 years.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun - What a song! The book mentioned the song, but then there was the movie! It was one of my sister's favourite movies and it used to be played over and over and over in our house. It had a really great cast too - Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt, and more!

And then...there is the music!!

Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles - Didn't we all want to Walk Like an Egyptian?

Manic Monday by The Bangles - I know that it is Tuesday, but it definitely qualifies as a manic Tuesday in my work life right now! It wasn't intentional to have two songs by the same band!

Girls on Film by Duran Duran - I wasn't the biggest fan back in the day, but Duran Duran are very 80s. I did hear today that they are releasing a new album very soon which is interesting.

Karma Chameleon by Culture Club - I didn't love Boy George back in the day, but I do sing along now!

Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves 
- This is one of those songs that just makes me feel happy! So now I am going to share it with you all!!

I think I need to get back to the 2020s now!


  1. That's good to hear about the Clover Girls. I have only read The Heirloom Garden and liked it. Was surprised the author is a man!

    1. I am so looking forward to reading more of his books Tina!

  2. I can so picture the yellow tube skirt with a black belt! Ah, the eighties.

    My list— https://fiftytwo.blog/2021/10/19/ttt-books-i-loved-but-will-probably-wont-re-read/

    Happy TTT!

    1. In the 90s I went with a purple mid calf pencil skirt Lori!

  3. I have a couple of her books on my TBR!

    My memories of the 80s are mostly the big hair and the bright colors. One I wasn't a fan of, and the other happened on its own much to my dismay.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

    1. I have never had big hair, Pam, even in the 80s.

  4. I loved John Hughes' movies! And ooh Duran Duran and the Bangles. Was a fan of both. :)

    1. So much good music back in the day Greg!

  5. Awww, the '80s! It's always fun to read or watch something set in that decade. I was born in 1975, so I definitely remember all these things you mention. So fun!

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!

  6. How fun to have all the 80's references in the book. That was definitely my era and I remember all those references well. John Hughes movies, big hair and Duran Duran... I miss it all. :)

    1. We can still get access to some of them at least Tanya!