Rosie and Skate

Beth Ann Bauman. Random/Lamb, $15.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-385-73735-7
This is a quiet novel, though the lives of Bauman's narrators, two sisters, are anything but. Rosie, 15, and her 16-year-old sister, Skate, are temporary orphans, their alcoholic father having just landed himself in jail for several months after stealing money to buy booze. Rosie attends meetings for children of alcoholics and yearns for her father to shape up, while Skate retreats from the pain of abandonment by jumping from place to place, crashing wherever she can. With dad gone, both girls live rather nomadic lifestyles, taking love wherever they can get it, sometimes through sex—encounters that leave them lost more than anything. Eventually, the girls begin to reestablish roots with each other and those who truly care for them, but the abrupt ending leaves several threads unresolved. The Jersey shore boardwalk setting also feels like a missed opportunity—while the characters quickly become intriguing and three-dimensional, the boardwalk and all it offers are underdeveloped. There are heartening, thoughtful moments along the way, but at times, Bauman's (Beautiful Girls) novel feels more like a series of loosely connected narrative sketches. Ages 12—up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 217 pages - 978-0-385-73736-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-375-89390-2
Library Binding - 217 pages - 978-0-385-90660-9
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