The Sun Maiden

Erika Taylor, Author Atheneum Books $19.95 (247p) ISBN 978-0-689-12130-2
This entertaining first novel is the humorous, sensitive story of 20-year-old J.O. Warren's long struggle to confront the father she has never known, a quest that has taken her from New York to L.A. J.O.'s clumsiness as a waitress at the Sun Maiden diner, and the example of her sexy, glamorous roommate, feed her daily insecurities as she tries to ``psych myself to call my dad.'' A turning point comes when Rafi, the Israeli manager of the restaurant, teaches her to shoot a .357 Magnum: J.O. gets ``tapped into the heart of something . . . Power.'' Her confidence is tested when she helps a co-worker deal with his insane brother; finally she doesn't need a gun or anything else to bolster her inner strength. J.O.'s keen perception of L.A. and its inhabitants the glitz and fakeness that seem to conceal some essential reality she seeks, all deftly interwoven with her memories of growing up in New York. Witty, fast-paced dialogue, surprising plot twists and the likable, even admirable J.O. make for a satisfying, heartwarming read. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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