It Happened at Cecilia's

Erika Tamar, Author Atheneum Books $13.95 (135p) ISBN 978-0-689-31478-0
Readers eager for an account of life in the Greenwich Village of the '80s will be pleased to find that this novel is as detailed and authentic as the watercolor that graces its jacket. Andy helps his father run Cecilia's, a small restaurant serving Cajun-Hungarian cuisine. Although his mother is dead and his father is often busy with the restaurant, Andy's world is a rich and caring one, for all the unusual people who work and eat at Cecilia's serve as his extended family. An unfortunate contrast to these generously depicted individuals is Andy's grandmother, a snobbish woman whose rigidity seems to exist merely to highlight the other characters' freewheeling personalities. With its engaging characters and intriguing setting, the book is only slightly overwhelmed by its overly ambitious plot: Andy comes to terms with his father's new wife, attempts to make peace between his father and grandmother, faces up to the school bully, loses and regains his cat, pines after a girl and helps his father stand up to local gangsters. Fortunately, the eccentric eatery is made of strong stuff: Cecilia's and its wacky denizens can survive both the public's caprices and the meanderings of an unwieldy storyline. Ages 11-14. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 135 pages - 978-0-02-045395-6
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