Just Like a Friend

Marilyn Sachs, Author Dutton Books $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-525-44524-1
Although 32-year-old Vi Carmichael has been accused of not acting her age, most people are charmed by her youthful exuberance. She is more of a friend than a mother to 14-year-old Patti. The mother/daughter relationship seems enviable at first, but conflicts soon arise when the family faces a serious challenge. After Mr. Carmichael suffers a near-fatal heart attack, it is Patti and her grandmother who shoulder the responsibility; Vi is unable to accept her husband's weakened condition, and remains childish and selfish. For the first time, Patti finds herself criticizing her mother's behavior and questioning her own values. Sachs ( Almost Fifteen ; Fran Ellen's House ) offers a sensitive glimpse of a teenager's awakening as she traces Patti's growth toward independence. The characters in this tender novel are complex and thoroughly developed. If readers cannot identify with Patti, they will at least be able to sympathize with her predicament, understand her feelings and admire her strength. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-70964-9
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