Skipped Parts

Tim Sandlin, Author
Tim Sandlin, Author Henry Holt & Company $19.45 (338p) ISBN 978-0-8050-1086-2
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Confirming the promise of Sex and Sunsets and Western Swing , Sandlin has created a lighthearted, amusing and tender story of preteen wisdom, adult immaturity and the fine line between. It's 1963 when 13-year-old Sam Callahan and his tart-tongued, divorced, misbehaving mother, Lydia, are banished to the hick town of GroVont, Wyo., by Lydia's Southern-gentleman father, Casper. The only other intelligent sixth-grader in GroVont is spirited, pretty Maurey Pierce. Sharing their books, Sam and Maurey set out to discover what happens in the lost paragraphs between the first kiss and the happily ever after. With some coaching from liberated Lydia, the kids begin practicing for their first real sexual experience. Complications arise when Sam--envisioning romantic futures in the humorous, perceptive short stories he writes--finds himself in love with Maurey. Strong-willed Maurey, however, insists that they pair off with others for ``normal'' dating, even after she discovers she's pregnant. Hilarious teenage dating scenes are neatly contrasted with Lydia's unwise romantic entanglements and the pathetic snobbery of small-town social cliques. Narrated in Sam's adolescent voice--authentic in its tone and use of the vernacular--this offbeat, engaging novel elicits nonstop chuckles and, sometimes, a tear or two. (Mar.)
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