Paradise Lane

William Taylor, Author Scholastic $0 (165p) ISBN 978-0-590-41013-7
An impressive American debut for New Zealand author Taylor, Paradise Lane is the simple but moving story of a teenage girl's struggle to understand her parents' apparently destructive relationship and to learn to love. For ages it seems Rosie Perkins has been alone in her world. Her mother is an alcoholic, spending her days in her darkened bedroom, leaving at times to be ""cured'' at a local hospital, only to begin the cycle anew on her return. Rosie's father ignores his wife, apart from supplying her with booze and pills. He adores Rosie, his ``Princess,'' but his attentions only frighten the girl. In school, Rosie is tormented by her classmates for her intelligence, but she has learned to ignore them, even Michael Geraghty, who usually leads the taunts. Her family and Michael's are the only ones who live on Paradise Lane. When Rosie discovers an orphaned newborn possum, Michael goads her into keeping itshe names it Plum. Her success raising Plum inspires Michael to humiliate her in grand fashion, but Rosie's reaction leads the two first to friendship and eventually to love. In this tender story, Rosie discovers that her capacity for love includes not only Plum and Michael, but her mother as well. But Taylor has more in mind than an ordinary coming-of-age storyand the tension builds to a shattering, breathless climax as Rosie's independence begins to threaten her parents' status quo. The resolution is both honest and moving; with its gritty, realistic portrayal of the give-and-take of family links and the sometimes blurred lines that define those relationships, Paradise Lane transcends its modest theme to become truly memorable. Ages 12-up. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-590-41014-4
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