At the Edge

Michael Behrens, Author Avon Books $2.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-380-75610-0
This promising first novel, winner of Avon's young adult novel competition, is narrated by a talented swimmer who is finishing high school in Southern California (where he has lived since his parents' divorce). His ambivalence about the sport, his related but more complex feelings about his father and the intoxicating but increasingly unsettling relationship he forms with an emotionally unstable girl comprise the novel's central concerns. These elements are, of course, hardly unusual fare; nonetheless, because in this book they are infused with insight and sensitivity, they make for rewarding reading. Behrens shows promise in his use of telling details to reveal the intricacies of human emotions and relations. His sense of pacing and plotting is less well developed: the novel suffers from an easily predictable outcome and the latter sections consequently drag. All in all, however, Behrens offers up a thoughtful, engaging and well-written narrative. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
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