The Tempered Wind

Jeanne Dixon, Author Atheneum Books $13.95 (207p) ISBN 978-0-689-31339-4
Set in the '40s, this novel covers the adolescent years of Gabriella, a dwarf. Orphaned, shuttled from relative to relative for several years, Gabriella faces the prospect of institutionalization. At 17, even though she has no domestic skills, she hires herself out as a chore girlsight unseento a Bohemian family in Montana. With them she learns to become self-sufficient and independent, finding a job as a schoolteacher, and, as we see in the novel's summary paragraph, she goes on to live a full, adult life. Though the subject is potentially quite compelling, an unconvincing first-person narration make this difficult going. The writing lapses into self-indulgence (""For days I lay close to death''), and the various themes Dixon weaves into the straightforward telling are lackluster. Gabriella never seems real and neither does her story. Ages 12-up. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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