cover image A Couple of Kooks: And Other Stories about Love

A Couple of Kooks: And Other Stories about Love

Cynthia Rylant. Orchard Books (NY), $16.95 (104pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05900-5

As poignant and vibrant as Rylant's previous works ( A Blue-Eyed Daisy ; A Fine White Dust ; Every Living Thing ), this collection of short stories examines the nature of love and its effects on eight people's lives. Four of the selections deal with adolescent relationships: while ``Checkouts'' traces a brief yet intense infatuation, ``A Couple of Kooks'' reveals a more intimate bond between two troubled teens. With genuine understanding, Rylant conveys the excitement, idealism, innocence and confusion associated with young love. No less skillful are her portrayals of the rekindled passions of adults--stories about a 75-year-old grandfather, a down-and-out truck driver and an aging divorcee are profound as well as moving. Rylant's spare, compassionate prose captures the essence of her characters and depicts the many dimensions of romance. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)