On Other Days While Going Home

Michelle Carter, Author, Maria D. Guarnaschelli, Editor
Michelle Carter, Author, Maria D. Guarnaschelli, Editor William Morrow & Company $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-07074-8
Reviewed on: 06/26/1987
Release date: 07/01/1987
Annie, an orphan, has always lived across from the Hall of Justice in San Francisco, in the room behind her Aunt Marie's bail bond office. Her friends growing up were Black Robert, parking lot attendant down the street, his girl friend Gloria, who owned a rental car agency up the coast, and the glamorous Jotta, whose only fault was her attachment to Tom, a magnetic but violent biker who liked to beat her up. Aunt Marie expects Annie to go to college after high school; instead Annie has an affair with her guitar-playing English teacher, even following him to Wyoming when he leaves her. Rejection reiterated, she takes off for Cape Cod where Jotta lives with her new husband. Annie's driving companion is a sweet old blues player whose interest in her company has more to do with a drug transporting scheme than she initially knows. After disappointment and a drug bust, Annie finds Jotta domesticated and pregnant. Annie stays and takes a waitressing job; Aunt Marie and Gloria arrive, and then Tom, who carries trouble with him. While young Annie's wit, her guarded view and demands on life and love seem fresh and authentic, Carter's first novel lacks the inevitability of action that characters must give to their story. This weakness dilutes the resolution so that readers who've been rooting for Annie along the course of her cross-country search for herself will wonder at the end just what she has accomplished. (July 31)
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