cover image Granny Was a Buffer Girl

Granny Was a Buffer Girl

Berlie Doherty. Orchard Books (NY), $0 (131pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05754-4

At a turning point in Jess's lifethe night before she goes abroad for a yearshe reflects on the key events in her relatives' lives, when they met their mates and married. No mystery accompanies these stories of romancethey are ground, instead, in the whimsy of ordinary living, of the fateful turns of a missed phone call or a chance meeting at a dance. The buffer girl of the title buffs cutlery, candlesticks and metal trays in a factory, and then meets the suave owner's son. But it is a plodding, reliable Albert who will march her down the aislesimply because of the timing of his proposal. Such pieces of distant family folklore, and the more recent death of her young brother, give Jess the courage to embrace changes in her life head-on. Doherty instills the story with the power of a lyrical voice, polishing the past, but not smoothing disappointments or moments of innocence lost. She offers readers a glimpse of maturity without the death of hope. Ages 10-up. (March)