The Snake-Stone

Berlie Doherty, Author Orchard Books (NY) $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-531-09512-6
An adopted boy searches for his birth mother in this sensitive British novel from the author of White Peak Farm. Fifteen-year-old James, a champion diver, narrates most of the story, which is interwoven with brief but poignant passages in the unknown mother's voice. James, fortuitously, has the note, written on the back of a torn envelope, that his birth mother presumably left with him (""Look after Sammy"") before abandoning him in a stranger's mailbox. Even more fortuitously, the envelope bears fragments of a return address. A portrait in determination, James discerns the beginnings of a trail. As James investigates, the mother recounts, in minimal but telling detail, the wrenching events surrounding his birth. Doherty gradually, deftly draws the two narrative strands together, leading to the moment-all the more powerful for what is left unsaid-when mother and son meet. She leaves both James and the reader ample opportunity to sort out the conflicting feelings inherent to his search, and his eventual acceptance of his true, adoptive home seems all the more satisfying for its being hard-won. A touching exploration of a difficult subject. Ages 11-up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Show other formats
Hardcover - 978-0-531-08862-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-2520-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 176 pages - 978-0-14-038392-8
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-08770-4
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-13086-8
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-0-00-674022-3
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-19-832087-6
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-0-582-31764-2
Hardcover - 186 pages - 978-0-582-43455-4
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.