Cousin It CL

Lynn Caraganis, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $19.95 (230p) ISBN 978-0-89919-945-0
``When I was three I moved in with my Cousin Ruth Davis. My parents had gone to a better place beyond the sky.'' The year is 1958. Brash and giddy, 17-year-old orphan Vickie Fowler has lately been ejected from Cousin Ruth's strict Mormon household in San Jose, Calif. She soon finds herself in adolescent heaven. Not only does Vickie land lodgings in her cousin It's (short for Itzel) glamorous abode, complete with maid service and all the junk food she can consume, but she is truly on her own: It, potentially a surrogate parent, rarely puts in an appearance. Just out of high school, and still smarting from a boyfriend's public jilting of her, Vickie--when not watching TV--must face the question of what to do with the rest of her life. She is above all a long-sheltered innocent, and Caraganis's ( Garish Days ) second novel could have taken form as an interesting coming-of-age tale played out against a deliciously tacky pop-culture backdrop. Unfortunately, the narration is severely limited by the teen's literal, pedestrian turn of mind--Vickie has neither the wit nor the powers of perception to make the book fly. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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