From Library Journal
Who am I? For most of us the answer is clear, but for Elizabeth Miller, a stay at a mental hospital is necessary before she can even ask the question. Eerie events from the past surface: Years earlier, Elizabeth's mother accidentally ran over an elder daughter, Angela, who was four. In her grief, the mother dresses Elizabeth in Angela's clothes and treats her like a child, even as Elizabeth becomes a woman. Caught in this childlike state in an isolated mountain town at the age of 28, Elizabeth becomes increasingly depressed until an aunt mandates medical treatment. The treatment offers the hope of putting the dead Angela to rest and a chance for Elizabeth to begin her life. Barrett's first adult novel (following a children's book, Willie Is Not for Hugging , HarperCollins, 1989) is intriguing in its probing of self-discovery. Recommended for popular collections.- Heather Blenkinsopp, Mercy Coll. Lib., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Sarah Elizabeth Miller is a childlike woman of 28, still living at home and torturously oppressed by her mother's punishing control. Elizabeth--as she is called--will leave the small Appalachian town of her birth to enter a mental hospital, where she will have the opportunity to emerge from the formidable shadow cast by her deceased sister. Barrett's debut novel is a story worthy of being told. In her wonderfully capable southern voice, she allows Elizabeth to find her own true self and to be set free from a long-buried secret. Emerging from depression, Elizabeth will leave factory work behind as she becomes ready for an independent life. Barrett has created a yarn pertinent to today's climate of increased sensitivity toward the injustices suffered by so many children. With a knowing look at the abusive behavior of parents and other trusted grown-ups, this first novel acknowledges the tarnished childhoods that so many adults must find ways to overcome. Alice Joyce