Double Exposure

Gale Harper, Author, Gail Harper, Author Story Line Press $9.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-934257-26-8
When Harper introduces Melissa, the main character and narrator of most of this first novel, she is 17 years old and her mother has just picked her up from ``Juvie,'' the juvenile corrections facility. The mother, an alcoholic, takes Melissa straight to school, despite her protest, ``I've had enough punishment. Can't I even change my clothes first?'' This scenario poses alluring possibilities for fiction, but unfortunately the thin book collapses under the strain of its many incongruities. We never learn why Melissa was in Juvie, or for how long; a few months later she turns 18 and quits high school, yet takes art courses at the junior college; she seems unlikely to be nice to Darrell, the school nerd, yet she takes greater pains to placate him than most people would. The convoluted sequence of events initially appears chronological, but in fact Melissa thinks about Darrell long before the narrative describes their earliest meeting, complicating the book even further. Experimental fiction requires a more adept hand. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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