The Music of Summer

Rosa Guy, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $15 (180p) ISBN 978-0-385-30599-0
The themes in Guy's newest novel are ambitious and diverse, ranging from the difficulty of choosing between mutually exclusive dreams (exemplified by 18-year-old Sarah's need to choose between marrying an Africa-bound development worker bound or remaining in New York City to pursue her musical talent) to the prejudice, even hostility, that light-skinned African Americans may direct toward those with darker skin, dramatized by Sarah's ostracism by a group of peers she summers with on Cape Cod. But Guy's command of these themes falters badly. The reasons Sarah chooses to accompany her cruel friend Cathy and Cathy's friends to the Cape are never made credible, nor is the fact that she remains despite their overt hostility. Sarah's relationship with handsome Jean Pierre is a fairy-tale romance--otherworldly, unrealistic and ultimately unbelievable. And her decision, finally, not to follow her lover to Africa is unsatisfying, for the girl seems merely to be acquiescing to her family's hopes, not following her own desires-- ``My uncle wants me to be a star,'' she explains to the disappointed Jean Pierre. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
Genre: Children's
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