Becoming Rosemary

Frances Wood, Author
Frances Wood, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $14.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-385-32248-5
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-440-41238-0
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-375-89504-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-07323-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-87812-8
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Living in a small farming village in the late 18th century, 12-year-old Rosemary Weston, heroine of this strong first novel, spends much of her time gathering plants and herbs for her mother's magical healing concoctions and watching her older sister Con communicate telepathically with a Native American wanderer across the river. Rosemary and her family hide their differences from the small-minded, if well-meaning members of their community; Wood, meanwhile, treats their supernatural talents almost matter-of-factly, as minor aspects of the Westons' fully rounded personalities. The focus shifts only gradually to Rosemary's special powers as she grows into womanhood and must decide whether to explore these powers or lead an ordinary life in which social acceptance would be more assured. Wood's prose is dense with the smells and tastes of her heroine's world: musky wild mushrooms, chips of precious white sugar, aromatic herbs, homemade dyes. The story of Rosemary's self-discovery unfolds with the same simplicity and sensitivity to detail. A hymn to the pains and joys of special gifts, magical and otherwise. Ages 10-14. (Feb.)
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