Opposite the Cross Keys

S. T. Haymon, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-01803-0
The artistry that wins praise for the British author's mysteries ( A Ritual Murder , awarded England's Silver Dagger et al.) is evident as well in this wonder-filled tale. Haymon evokes laughter and tears with her recollections of her 10th year, 1928, as she became attached to the Fenners, family of her governess Maud. They lived ``opposite the Cross Keys, St. Awdry's,'' an area that provided adventure for the little girl, unlike her upper-class neighborhood. In the working-class milieu, Haymon spent happy hours with cheerful, uninhibited Mrs. Fenner, made a loyal friend of young Tom and tightened the bond between herself and the spiky, utterly devoted Maud. There was, to be sure, a worm in the apple, despised Ellie Fenner, who sat all day long, combing her long hair and sitting on it to prove that she could. But Haymon could simply ignore slothful Ellie, while enjoying otherwise rewarding times. The greatest was falling in love with a grown-up, a bewitching rogue named ``Chicken,'' and this romance forms the core of the poignant, funny memoir. A skilled novelist, the author keeps the secret of how the romance turned out until the book's surprising finale. (August)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 258 pages - 978-1-4472-2523-2
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