One on One: 2a Novel

Tabitha King, Author
Tabitha King, Author Dutton Books $23 (496p) ISBN 978-0-525-93590-2
Reviewed on: 03/01/1993
Release date: 03/01/1993
Mass Market Paperbound - 528 pages - 978-0-451-17981-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-453-00827-3
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In this affecting story of high-school basketball and teenage romance, King returns to the small-town Maine characters who peopled her previous novel, Pearl. Sam Styles, who made brief appearances as the son of Pearl's lover Reuben in the earlier book, has grown into a straight-living, Bible-reading high-school basketball star. In his senior year, he finds himself attracted to scrappy, hostile little Deanie Gauthier, captain of the girls' basketball team. As Sam and Deanie struggle to lead their respective squads to state championships, a dark bond of sexual passion grows between them, and he is increasingly drawn into her troubled life. Conflicts ignite that threaten their relationship, as well as their ability to play ball. Both are beset by adversaries: J. C., an upper-middle-class drug dealer at the school, has a sordid hold over Deanie, and Pete, a dissolute teammate of Sam's, detests his sense of morality. On the periphery of the high-school action, but posing the most sinister threat, is Deanie's mother's abusive boyfriend. The overlong narrative loses steam as King (married to novelist Stephen) resolves each conflict separately, diminishing the impact of the grand finale. However, her rich characters and her brutal, violent portrayal of teenage life manage to sustain interest despite a flabby plot. BOMC alternate. (Mar.)
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