cover image Three Lives to Live

Three Lives to Live

Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Little Brown and Company, $14.95 (183pp) ISBN 978-0-316-52628-9

When a girl in an old-fashioned dress tumbles out of an unused laundry chute, Garet is understandably surprised. Her grandmother, Gratkins, on the other hand, accepts the newcomer as a matter of course, calls her Daisy and enrolls her in school, claiming that she is Garet's long-lost twin. After this promising and mysterious opening, Lindbergh's tale becomes a whiny account of the children's sibling rivalry, and the predictable discovery that Daisy and Garet are both actually younger versions of Gratkins, having journeyed forward in time via the magical laundry chute. The inherent fascination of time travel cannot compensate for the novel's lack of any real adventure and its irksome, self-satisfied prose. The characters seem to be little more than repositories for cliched tics, and the narration, unfortunately, keeps the reader at arm's length. Ages 8-12. (May)