From Publishers Weekly
In this WWII domestic drama, 14-year-old Teddy discovers family secrets and resentments when she and her twin brother spend a summer at their grandmother's house. Ages 12- up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 6-9. World War II is not the only war raging in this family story. Teddy, 14, constantly battles her mother, Dee Dee, who in turn has an acrimonious relationship with her own mother, Rose. In the summer of 1944, Dee Dee takes Teddy and her twin brother, Howie, to stay with Rose so that she can work an extra shift at the factory. Gradually, readers learn that the source of the family's pain is a Christmas fire that occurred 10 years earlier killing the twins' father and infant sister and leaving Teddy with badly scarred hands. Teddy, the classic ugly duckling character, has always been blamed by her mother for what happened. Bits and pieces of the incident and misunderstandings that led to the broken relationships are revealed throughout the novel. The climax comes about when Teddy makes her mother remember that it was really Howie who started the fire by playing with matches. The ramifications of this revelation are never explored, nor are Teddy's reasons for keeping the secret. The author effectively portrays the incredible hurt and anger among the family members, but the trite, easy resolution is unconvincing. All of the characters' raw language seems gratuitous and becomes tiresome after a point. The casualness with which drinking is portrayed is problematic as well. Rose and Dee Dee get drunk every time they meet, and Howie drinks to escape his pain and to fit in with a group of teens. Only Teddy is mildly disdainful of alcohol. Overall, the book lacks the depth of Katherine Paterson's Jacob Have I Loved (HarperCollins, 1980), which also deals with family pain.?Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.