Hope Was Here

Joan Bauer, Author
Joan Bauer, Author Putnam Publishing Group $16.99 (186p) ISBN 978-0-399-23142-1
Reviewed on: 09/11/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Paperback - 186 pages - 978-0-14-240424-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4000-8615-3
Prebound-Glued - 186 pages - 978-1-4176-8744-2
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-0-7393-5998-3
Hardcover - 239 pages - 978-0-7862-3258-1
Prebound-Glued - 186 pages - 978-0-7569-5777-3
Hardcover - 250 pages - 978-4-86182-278-0
Prebound-Glued - 186 pages - 978-0-606-24653-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 186 pages - 978-0-698-11951-2
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-552-54972-1
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Bauer (Rules of the Road; Squashed) serves up agreeable fare in this tale of a teenage waitress's search for a sense of belonging. Sixteen-year-old Hope has grown used to the nomadic life she has built with her aunt Addie, a talented diner cook. She doesn't mind the hard work it takes to make a diner hum; she seems to have inherited a knack for waiting tables from the free-spirit mom (Addie's younger sister) who abandoned her years ago. But Hope would gladly give up always having to say good-bye to friends and places she loves. When Addie accepts a new job that takes the pair from Brooklyn to the Welcome Stairways diner in Mulhoney, Wis., Hope never could have imagined the big changes ahead of her. She and Addie shine in the small-town milieu and gladly offer to help diner owner G.T. Stoop, who is battling leukemia, run for mayor. Along the way, Addie and Hope both find love, and Hope discovers the father figure she has so desperately wanted. Readers will recognize many of Bauer's hallmarks here--a strong female protagonist on the road to self-discovery, quirky characters, dysfunctional families, a swiftly moving story, moments of bright humor. Her vivid prose, often rich in metaphor (e.g., Hope's description of the Brooklyn diner: ""The big, oval counter... sat in the middle of the place like the center ring in a circus""), brings Hope's surroundings and her emotions to life. The author resolves a few of her plot points a bit too tidily, but her fans won't mind. They're likely to gobble this up like so much comfort food. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
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