Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary

Pamela Dean, Author Tor Books $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-86004-2
Retelling traditional Scottish ballads (as she does here and did in Tam Lin), Minneapolis-based contemporary fantasist Dean can spin a wicked little spell. Her latest novel starts gently, as an odd new family suddenly builds a tacky red vinyl-sided ranch house next to a charming old Twin Cities Victorian. Dean draws each of three young daughters who live in the Victorian into the orbit of their handsome, mysterious neighbor, Dominic. Juniper, giddy at 16, falls rapidly toward and away from his charms. Rosemary, a fractious 11, suspects he's selling drugs, not dreams. Fourteen and on the troublesome cusp of adolescence, practical amateur astronomer Gentian turns into Dominic's adoring satellite, losing her cat, her friends and months of her stargazing time to his enigmatic company. Before the tale spirals down to a satisfying surprise ending, Dean makes the quirky world of today's teenage girls and their well-meaning but bemused parents utterly convincing--and does so without so much as a smidgen of smarm, subtly illuminating that eternal parental moan: What on earth does she see in him? (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
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Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-312-85970-1
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