Although practically all of Judy Blume's many books are beloved, few have had quite as much of an impact on generations of readers as Summer Sisters, her 1998 novel for adults about two women's lifelong friendship. Although Blume had written two non-YA books before, '78's Wifey and '83's Smart Women, it wasn't until her third mature book that her fans truly began to realize that Blume was just as skilled as writing for adults as she was for teens. Yet in the 16 years since the book's release, Blume has only written for young readers, and we've had to make do with re-reading Summer Sisters for the thousandth time to get our grown-up fix. Now, though, it's finally been announced that Blume is writing a new adult novel, and — even better — it's coming in just one year.
As reported by the New York Times, the author's newest work, her first since 2008, will be released in summer 2015, and although little is known about it (including its title), Blume's editor, Carole Baron, wants readers to know that it's exactly the kind of relatable, honest novel from the author her readers have loved for decades.
"It’s pure Judy Blume," Baron said, "writing about family and about friendships, about love, about betrayal. It’s quintessential Judy.”
According to the editor, the book has been in the works for four years, a fact that any of Blume's many Twitter followers could verify; the author has spent much time on the site detailing the slow process of creating her latest work, garnering fans' excitement with chapter-by-chapter updates and her musings on themes and titles. Yet while the fact that Blume had a new book in the works had been known for a long while, the announcement that it's actually on its way to publication — and soon — is hugely exciting, and not just for readers.
“I’m both thrilled and terrified, my usual feelings at this point," Blume said in a statement released by her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf," adding that she'll "be hiding out this summer revising, my favorite part of the process."
The author also confirmed the news in a tweet sent out on Wednesday afternoon to her 112,000 followers:
Unfortunately for impatient fans, Blume's spending the summer editing means that we'll probably have to wait a long while before any details of the book's content are released. In the meantime, though, we can make a few guesses: perhaps this new book will be another study of female friendships, like Summer Sisters, or more of a (grown-up) coming-of-age tale, like Deenie?
Whatever it is, there's no doubt that it'll be as funny, wise, thought-provoking and real as all of Blume's novels, especially those aimed at older audiences. No one captures a period in a woman's life as well as Blume does, and the news of her new book should be celebrated by all those who grew up reading (or still read) her novels — in other words, every smart, thoughtful, and book-loving woman alive.