I Remember Valentine

Liz Hamlin, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-525-24524-7
The Depression forces the unnamed 11-year-old narrator and her parents to move from a comfortable home in Marietta, Ohio, to a small flat in the poorer section of town. There, the girl's middle-class assumptions are challenged by her next-door neighbors, the Harts, a larger-than-life family who could have stepped from the pages of Tobacco Road. Lacey and Big, with their 12-year-old twins, Black and Valentine, and brain-damaged son Broken gamely survive on a mixture of home-grown truths and natural grit. The narrator and Valentine soon become best friends, and when Valentine takes a summer job as mother's helper to an upper-class family, both girls are plunged into an adult intrigue and barely avoid becoming accessories to a murder. Shorn of its raunchy dialogue, the book's lively plot and colorful characters might appeal to young adults. Mature readers will find the story obvious and the ""lovable'' Harts merely grotesque. (June 8)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-671-66082-6
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