cover image The Stainless Steel Rule

The Stainless Steel Rule

Jean Ferris. Farrar Straus Giroux, $15 (170pp) ISBN 978-0-374-37212-5

Kitty, Fran and Mary are the closest of friends, and they feel that nothingnot even boyscan drive them apart. Then handsome and athletic Nick Arlington comes to their high school. When he shows an attraction to Mary, Kitty is awed. But as the year progresses, Kitty begins to see a dark side to Nick; he can be violent and crueland Mary is growing away from her friends. Nick attains a hold over his girlfriend powerful enough to convince careful Mary, a diabetic, that she no longer needs her insulin. Not unil after she lapses into a diabetic coma does she see what Kitty and Fran have already recognized. Ferris has constructed a taut, compelling novel, with moments of high humor and characters that will challenge readers as well as appeal to them. (12-up)