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In My Father's House (Point) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Oscie struggles with her stepfather as the Civil War rages on. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
By an extraordinary quirk, the McLean family entertained Confederates at their Manassas home just before the battle of Bull Run--and also hosted the peace negotiations at Appomattox, where they had moved to escape the war. Staying close to documented facts, as detailed in an excellent note, Rinaldi uses the McLeans' lives to dramatize the war's moral dilemmas. From his marriage in 1852, Will McLean has an uneasy relationship with his feisty seven-year-old stepdaughter Osceola (``Oscie''), the narrator; though she loves and respects the northern governess Will hires, and absorbs many of her ideas, Oscie is uneasy with Will's progressive stance toward slavery and, later, with his profiteering. Some of Rinaldi's inventions are unevenly developed--Oscie's long-held suspicions of one slave (dispelled when she understands her true story); a couple of romances typical of the era--though they do fill out the story. The most compelling relationship is between Oscie and Will, strong-minded characters, often opposed, whose mutual respect turns believably into a father-daughter bond, touchingly acknowledged in the last scene. Meanwhile, the author skillfully weaves history into her story--offstage battles, resentment against profiteers, a remarkable depiction of the northern generals taking the McLeans' furniture as memorabilia of Lee's surrender. Despite some weaknesses (Oscie at seven is unbelievably mature, and there's a 20th-century feel to some of the dialogue): a sweeping, dramatic overview of the war, authentic and compelling. Bibliography; chronology. (Fiction. 12+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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While Rinaldi is not the best writer by a long shot, her books do tend to be rich with historical detail