Just One Tear

K. L. Mahon, Author, Kate Mahon, Author, Ken Robbins, Illustrator HarperCollins $14 (1p) ISBN 978-0-688-13519-5
Mahon, a resident of New South Wales, was only 14 years old when she wrote this novel in 1992. But in the 45 brief journal entries that comprise her book, ostensibly the diary of a boy who witnesses his father's murder, the reader receives no such specific information about places or people, and is left to infer the gender of the narrator. Only the dates, from March 2 to May 2, ground the story in the calendar year. The boy records his feelings of loss, anger, emptiness and guilt surrounding the event, including his presumably ineffectual testimony in court against the murderer. The even more vital drama here, though, is domestic: the turbulent relationship between the unnamed protagonist and his grieving mother (``She's been crying all day, all night. She isn't worried about me. She doesn't care''). The prose effectively conveys the boy's depression, as in the many fragmentary ends to diary entries. It works best when it shows a dialectic between question and answer (``We went to a comedy. My friends said it was very funny. Was it? I can't remember what it was about''). The heaviness of tone is representative of a more general adolescent penchant toward alienation and morbidity, creating a sensitive and believable portrait of a critical time in one boy's life. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

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 pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.