cover image Finding David Dolores

Finding David Dolores

Margaret Willey. HarperCollins Publishers, $11.5 (150pp) ISBN 978-0-06-026483-3

Thirteen year-old Arly has withdrawn from her peers and her mother, with whom she was once close, in favor of solitary walks and ""days without ever really speaking to anyone.'' She meets the flamboyant newcomer Regina, a well-developed contrast to Arly's cultivated invisibility. But Regina is also in self-imposed social exile, and a friendship ignites based on shared feelings of restlessness and alienation. Arly tells Regina of her fascination with David Dolores, a mysterious older boy whom Arly follows, unseen, during her walks. Eventually the girls befriend Althea, David's artistic mother, and Regina's obsession with the woman shatters the worlds of all involved, including Arly's friendship with Regina. In an ending that is far from pat, Arly learns that to be a true friend sometimes means standing up for her own point of view, even at the risk of the friendship itself. This is an absorbing and serious look at choices, and a solid growing up story, though the subtle and sophisticated psychology might be lost on all but the most mature readers. Willey is the author of The Bigger Book of Lydia. (12-up)