Sara Flanigan, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (306p) ISBN 978-0-312-01728-6
The author of Sudie has set her appealing second novel in rural Georgia about 50 years ago. The protagonist, teenager Ellie Perkins, is being raised by her widowed and increasingly alcoholic father. When Ellie ventures onto the farm of a reclusive neighboring family, the Guthries, and hears human-like cries coming from a shed, she is faced with a dilemma. Does she risk the lash of Mr. Guthrie's notorious bad temper or put the cries out of her mind? For the conscientious Ellie, the latter is impossible. She discovers that, unknown to anyone in the community, the Guthries have a deaf, epileptic daughter, Alice. Considered retarded by her family, Alice has lived much of her life in the shed. With the help of her older brother Sammy and some townspeople, Ellie is able to intercede in Alice's life to the point where Alice acquires a hearing aid, a tutor and a blossoming romance with Sammy. For all of its emotional and physical violence, this story, told in prose heavily laden with a deep Southern cadence, has a gentle predictability. Readers who prefer social criticism tempered by an upbeat narrative viewpoint will enjoy this one. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-92784-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-91462-2
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