Seldom do so many enticing strands of human life come spinning together, seemingly without effort. Although presented as a young people’s, or even a teenage girl’s, historical novel, A Buss from Lafayette will happily twang the strings of anyone who ever had a crush, or encountered a thrilling challenge, or chafed at difficult relatives or faced a crisis – or who dreamed about meeting a rock star. That, after all, is what the former Marquis de Lafayette was in 1824 and 1825, when he was welcomed with pomp and adulation everywhere on a return tour of the United States.
Here we have a smart and curious-minded New England girl of 14 confronting the threshold of adolescence, and navigating -- sometimes, negotiating -- changed relationships with everything and everyone around her -- especially a very pregnant new stepmother, and a male playmate who suddenly wants to be her boyfriend. This story develops so naturally, and so colorfully, that the historical details and post-Revolutionary surroundings that slide their way into the narrative don't jar or divert from the tale. The girl's climactic encounter with the Great Man himself opens the way to a richly satisfying end.