Tonight by Sea

Frances Temple, Author
Frances Temple, Author Scholastic $15.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-531-06899-1
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 03/01/1995
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-06-440670-3
Library Binding - 978-0-531-08749-7
Prebound-Sewn - 152 pages - 978-0-606-10955-0
Prebound-Glued - 160 pages - 978-0-613-02952-0
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Temple (Taste of Salt; Grab Hands and Run) revisits contemporary Haiti in her latest novel. Governmental oppression has created dire conditions for Paulie and her relatives, who are followers of ousted president Aristide. They plan to leave their beloved town of Belle Fleuve for ``Mee-ya-mee, U.S.A.'' as soon as Uncle completes work on their boat, the Chache Lavi (Seek Life). But when the brutal macoute regime kills her friend Jean-Desir, Paulie realizes that she must do more than flee, and she sets upon a dangerous course to make her community's plight known. Temple writes with great feeling, presenting difficult subject matter through the eyes of her fragile and ultimately courageous heroine. In spite of the terrible events enveloping her, the characterization of Paulie resonates with tenderness. Unfortunately, the author's political leanings and calls for social justice assert themselves a little too heavily in the final third of the book, stifling both plot and character development. Portions of this volume echo Taste of Salt, which was so gripping in its raw, emotional intensity; however, the novel initially impassions but then fails to satisfy. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
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