Worlds Apart

Jill Murphy, Author Putnam Publishing Group $13.95 (127p) ISBN 978-0-399-21566-7
Murphy's first novel is an exercise in adolescent wish-fulfillment. Packed with authorial asides and Americanized slang (which some readers might find jarring, given the London setting), the story tells of Susan, 12, who lives an equable life with her mother Petunia, an actress-turned-retailer. They exist amiably in a flat outside London, with little money, but few real concerns. Susan's problem is that she wants to know more about her father, whom her mother refuses to discuss. He turns out to be matinee idol Lloyd Hunter, a rich, kindly man who is still madly in love with Susan's mother, and longing to know his daughter. Naturally, the three of them are soon together. They move into his wonderfully opulent house and Susan gets the dog she's always wanted by story's end. This is more fairy tale than novel, and therefore, may appeal to those looking for light escape. But readers seeking substance will do better elsewhere. Ages 8-12. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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