Cooder Cutlas

Elizabeth Bales Frank, Author HarperCollins Publishers $13.95 (311p) ISBN 978-0-06-021859-1
In the summer of 1974, 23-year-old Cooder arrives at Paradise Beach, N.J., a faded, second-rate resort town straight out of a Bruce Springsteen song. He's been drifting for three years since the death of his girlfriend, Maude. In Paradise Beach, Cooder gets a job restoring old cars and moves in with Jack Armstrong and the All-American Band, a rock-and-roll group that gives him a sense of belonging. Into this picture arrives Macky, a 17-year-old innocent whose boyfriend has abandoned her. Macky learns to penetrate the wall Cooder has built up around himself, and Cooder realizes he has found someone he can love as much as Maude. But when Macky takes up a modeling career in New York City, things between them start to change: she grows away from Cooder; he begins to doubt the choices he's made and has a brief affair. Cooder's journey of self-discovery and healing is beautifully drawn, as are his sadness and pain until Macky returns to him at story's end. It's hard to believe this is Frank's first book; it is accomplished, fluidly written and portrays heart-breakingly real relationships. Particularly noteworthy are its elegiac descriptions that sing of bygone times and unfulfilled longings; the mood and characters Frank has created will linger long after the last refrain fades away. Ages 14-up. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Hardcover - 311 pages - 978-0-06-021860-7
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