Unbroken

Jessie Haas, Author Greenwillow Books $14.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-688-16260-3
Haas's (Fire! My Parents' Story) exquisitely crafted prose is the driving force in this heartfelt story of family ties, as the author traces the emotional journey of an adolescent girl in rural Vermont at the turn of the century. The novel opens as Harriet Gibson--better known as Harry--is informed at school that her mother has had a tragic accident; she dies soon after Harry arrives at home. ""I used to feel a strong line from Mother's heart to mine whenever I saw her, and love moved along it like a telegraph signal. Now the line was cut,"" notes the grieving Harry. Her mother's will states that Harry is to live with her father's sister--stern, disapproving Aunt Sarah. Haas convincingly evokes the rigors and beauties of farm life, the pettiness of small towns and the sometimes hopeless tangle of blood relationships that can as easily wound as they can comfort and heal. As Harry struggles to break her colt--also orphaned in the accident--so that she can ride to town and continue her education, she also struggles to tame her grief and to hold her ground against her aunt, whose stubborn, outspoken nature mirrors Harry's own. It's not until another accident occurs, seriously injuring Harry, that the two begin to approach a measure of mutual understanding. Haas has a gift for description and graceful simile (""Night after night I lay still and narrow, like a wrinkle in the blanket""), and her characters are sharply observed, especially honest and wise 13-year-old Harry who can coax compassion from even her frozen Aunt Sarah. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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FORMATS
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-380-73313-2
Prebound-Glued - 978-0-606-17761-0
Hardcover - 242 pages - 978-0-7862-2769-3
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-33735-9
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-20962-5
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