Mischief and Malice

Berthe Amoss. Ig/Skurnick, $18.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-939601-44-5
More than 35 years after the publication of Secret Lives, Amoss returns with a sequel that sees now-14-year-old Addie Agnew living with her Aunt Toosie, Uncle Henry, and “hateful” cousin, Sandra Lee, in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Addie’s Aunt Eveline has died, but Addie still feels close to her, thanks to the Catholic belief in communion with the saints. Addie struggles with romance: she’s not sure how she feels about Tom, her best friend who seems boring compared to Sandra Lee’s boyfriend. When Tom’s father, Louis, returns after having abandoned his family, Addie is sure she is in love (“It must have happened before, and he’d only be forty-four when I was twenty”), but Louis’s attentions to Addie may have more to do with a secret he is hiding. While the mystery element is slightly rushed and too easily solved, Addie’s crushes will resonate with all who have misplaced their affections. The competitive relationship between the cousins is realistically drawn, and Addie’s amusing, tart observations and the homey New Orleans setting form the heart of this lively and engaging read. Ages 9–up. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/02/2015
Release date: 05/01/2015
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-939601-46-9
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-939601-45-2
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