Between Two Worlds

Sarah Sargent, Author, Judy Levin, Editor
Sarah Sargent, Author, Judy Levin, Editor Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $14.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-395-66425-4
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
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When her parents move the family from their modest urban home to an expensive showpiece in a wealthy suburb, Jan is all set to spend the summer hating her new surroundings. Worse yet, Jan discovers that her father has recently broken off an affair with a co-worker; later, her grandmother suffers a major stroke. Driven by anxiety, Jan becomes increasingly absorbed in her beloved soap opera, Life Begins Again. She also begins to believe that a new dress or the homey furniture she sees for sale in the mall can help her mend what she perceives as her broken family. In a hackneyed plot device, the unhappy girl entertains Walter Mitty-ish fantasies involving the characters in Life Begins Again. The sharpest moments here send up soap-opera-speak (``If anyone can pull through this, Tricia can.... Hold on to that'') and soap opera plotting, but it's questionable whether the target audience is sufficiently familiar with--and critical of--daytime suds as to appreciate Sargent's satire. Ages 9-12. (May)
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