Secret Harmonies

Andrea Barrett, Author Delacorte Press $16.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-29771-4
Poignant and atmospheric, this book honors the promise of Lucid Stars , Barrett's well-received first novel. Charismatic Reba Dwyer, flanked and buttressed by brother Hank, a shy, late bloomer, sister Tonia, who has Down's Syndrome, and best friend Luke Wyatt, hangs out in meager Massachusetts hill country until she meets Jessie Thayer, a girl with framed pictures on her walls, matching linens and dotted-swiss bedspreads. Ignoring past alliances, Reba joins Jessie in disreputable escapades and, when the friendship flounders, escapes to urban respectability. But her fellow conservatory students find Reba oddly feral, so, when she is summoned home because her father has left, Reba embraces her heritage, becomes pregnant, marries Luke, and has shallow affairs to distract herself from the fact that, like her father, who absorbs life as sounds, she must come to terms with inner music. Elegant, accessible writing transforms Reba's potentially trite passage from self-denial to self-acceptance into fine reading. First serial to Mademoiselle. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-671-73137-3
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