The Tiger Orchard

Joyce Sweeney, Author
Joyce Sweeney, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $15 (232p) ISBN 978-0-385-30841-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 232 pages - 978-0-440-21927-9
Prebound-Other - 232 pages - 978-0-606-08305-8
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Beneath Zachary Lloyd's calm, self-assured demeanor lie intimations of terror which surface only in nightmares. With the help of a therapist, the high school senior is able to connect symbols from his dreams (tigers, apple orchards, a ghost-like figure) to deeply buried secrets from childhood--chiefly, his mother's false proclamation that their father is dead. This novel about self-discovery is perhaps the most psychologically taut of Sweeney's books ( The Dream Collector ; Face the Dragon ). Readers will be hooked from the very first paragraph--a vivid description of one of Zack's dreams. Scenes of Zack's daily life--for example, his exchanges with his sexy girlfriend and with his outwardly saintly mother--are cross-cut with Zack's flashbacks, and these build climactically toward Zack's eventual reunion with his father. Although the fate of the formerly down-and-out alcoholic Mr. Lloyd may seem a little too miraculous, the warmth and tenderness between son and long-lost father remain touching and convincing. Sweeney's absorbing drama reveals remarkable insight into family relationships and human nature. Ages 12-up. (May)
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