No Way Home

Marilyn Levy, Author Fawcett Books $3.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-449-70326-7
It's the summer of 1978, and Billy, 13, is spending six weeks in California with his mother, a member of a religious cult. Three years ago, the troubled woman abandoned him, and Billy has lived with his father ever since. The boy is sorry he agreed to the invitation for a reunion: he can't believe that this tired-looking, strangely dressed woman is his parent. Even more upsetting are the rituals of the commune she lives in: the pre-dawn chanting, spartan meals and rigid censorship of anything ``Western.'' Escape seems impossible, as Billy resists with difficulty the brainwashing techniques of his captors, who transfer him to Denver, then France, while his worried Chicago family tries to locate him. Levy's riveting, poignantly humorous tale is well written, and her first-person narrative has the voice of a sweet Holden Caulfield (Billy's hero). Yet it's mystifying that Billy's intelligent father would permit this visit; equally bewildering is the youth's forgoing several possible opportunities to solicit help. Readers will see him through his predicament, however; this novel is hard to put down. Ages 10-up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
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