The Flawed Glass

Ian Strachan, Author Little Brown and Company $14.95 (204p) ISBN 978-0-316-81813-1
Shona lives on an isolated island off the coast of Scotland. An unnamed disability makes it difficult for her to walk and almost impossible for her to speak. Nevertheless, Shona possesses a rich inner life and a vast knowledge of the island's flora and fauna. When a wealthy American buys the island and becomes its Laird, Shona forges a friendship with Carl, the Laird's son. Through Carl, Shona gains access to a means to communicate, and she succeeds in clearing her family's name of a crime they never committed. Most important, Shona can at last share her thoughts with those around her. While the misapprehensions that result from the modern Laird's encounters with the traditional islanders are often quite funny, the shallow, sexist characterizations of Carl's sister and mother distract from the story and are at odds with the compassion the author shows elsewhere. At its best, this generally thoughtful exploration of what it means to communicate brings to mind the novels of Peter Dickinson. Ages 9-12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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