From Publishers Weekly
Dreams of Hollywood fame descend on the denizens of even the smallest of small towns, and Eden, Va., is no exception. When 16-year-old Tallie Brock spots a poster advertising a $20 makeover and photo session-Glamour Day, the offer is dubbed-she is convinced it's her ticket to movie stardom. Hollywood dreaming runs in the family. Tallie's mother, Dinah Mae, a dead ringer for Natalie Wood, even named her daughter after Wood. When Tallie was 12, Dinah Mae spent six months in Los Angeles, hoping to land a role as Natalie in a television biopic. Upon her return, Tallie was eager for news of what Dinah Mae had been doing, but had to resort to eavesdropping when her mother would confide only in her best friend, Martha Lee. Ever since Dinah Mae got back, she hasn't been herself and Tallie is afraid that she'll lose her mother again. To keep worry at bay, she writes in her journal, moons over handsome, rich Spaulding Reynolds, worries about her mill-worker father's drinking and dreams of fleeing tiny Eden. What follows is a journey marked by both pain and pleasure. LeClaire's pacing is uneven, her major revelations are awkwardly timed and the tragic incident that triggers the denouement is stagily introduced. Still, Tallie is an endearing character, and the Southern banter of the ladies at the beauty parlor where she works is pitch-perfect. Despite bumps in the delivery, LeClaire's (Entering Normal) homey storytelling goes down easy.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Adrift in Eden, Amherst County, Virginia, high-school senior Tallie Burke tries to resurrect her mother, Deanie, by recollection and imagination. Mama left her not once, but twice. First, she made an ill-conceived stab at Hollywood stardom; then, after returning from Tinseltown less than a year later, she died of advanced cancer in just a few months. By 1992, Tallie has been motherless four years. She contends with a brokenhearted dad who drinks; thus she leads a lifestyle a half-step above trailer trash, and she lusts for wellborn "Spy" Reynolds. No wonder Tallie yearns for the end of senior year, so she can fly to Hollywood and fulfill her mother's dream. But Tallie, though more than ready to escape once she tips for the local Klip-N-Kurl's Glamour Day promotion--a complete makeover with 9-by-12 glossies for only $20--and buys her ticket, allows her desperation to make her betray longtime bonds. Saturated with death and loss yet bursting with life, a beautiful, reflective meditation on friendship in its many guises. Whitney ScottCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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