A Stranger Here

Thelma Hatch Wyss, Author HarperCollins Publishers $14 (132p) ISBN 978-0-06-021438-8
This novel revolves around Jada, a loner who considers herself a misfit in her family and fills her hope chest with pages of poetry she has written. During the summer of 1960, the 16-year-old agrees to keep house for her kindly Uncle Mac, an Idaho farmer, and her theatrical Aunt May, who is allegedly dying of a rheumatic condition. One day, while dusting their forsaken ballroom, she encounters the ghost of dashing Starr Freeman, who had been engaged to marry Jada's cousin before he was killed in World War II--on the very day Jada was born. Visits from Starr, with whom Jada is smitten, alternate with visits from an attentive teenager whom she fancies not at all. In the end, Starr bids a somewhat confusing farewell to Jada, revealing (in the space of a single page) that he will not and will return to see her again. At times, Wyss's ( Here at the Scenic-Vu Motel ) wordy prose may be too cumbersome or obscure for the average reader (``They listened to the pulsating music of Ravensfield, entertaining its young, sustaining its old, and calling home all its departed.''). But this is satisfying fare for those with an appreciation for dramatic, romantic fiction. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1993
Release date: 02/01/1993
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 132 pages - 978-0-06-021439-5
Paperback - 132 pages - 978-0-06-447098-8
Prebound-Other - 132 pages - 978-0-606-09907-3
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