Chicago Blues

Julie Reece Deaver, Author
Julie Reece Deaver, Author HarperCollins Publishers $15.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-024675-4
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
The opening sentence of Deaver's (Say Goodnight, Gracie) latest is bound to rivet the attention of even a jaded reader: ``I have just kidnapped my eleven-year-old sister, although she doesn't know it yet.'' A first-semester scholarship student at a prestigious Chicago art school, Lissa is handed the job of temporary parent for her 11-year-old sister, Marnie, when their mother's alcoholism reels out of control. In the months that follow, Lissa must balance her work (she creates perfectly scaled miniature rooms) with her largely successful efforts to provide a stable home for Marnie. She also embarks on a fledgling romance with Daniel, a charismatic fellow artist. Though ``rock-solid responsible'' Lissa is generally unflappable, the subtle undercurrents of her pent-up anger occasionally surface-most memorably in the neatly constructed scene revolving around the unexpected appearance of the girls' country-singer father and his second wife. A crisp and amiable look at believable characters coping with trying circumstances. Ages 11-14. (June)