Nell's Quilt

Susan Terris, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $15 (162p) ISBN 978-0-374-35504-3
Terris, the author of several acclaimed family stories, has written a book about a 19th century woman with a 20th century diseaseanorexia nervosa. Nell, 18, confronted with marriage to an attractive and convenient older suitor, cannot say no, although she wants to; she believes there are no options. But, as Nell becomes increasingly obsessed with self-control (a change that seems, at first, to fulfill the expectations of her parents and society), readers will see that it is not just marriage she resists, but motherhood and sexthe ""frantic dance'' of adulthood. Long after Nell has starved herself into helplessness, she still believes ``I must be stricter. I must expect more.'' The course of her decline, in all its dramatic and paradoxical detail, is both compelling and exasperating to witness. The quilt she embroiders throughout is an ironic symbol, indeed, of her compulsion and denial. A complex, provocative work. Ages 12-up. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-590-41914-7
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-02483-9
Paperback - 162 pages - 978-0-374-45497-5
Prebound-Other - 162 pages - 978-0-606-10892-8
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