Two sixteen-year-old girls from different social classes spend the summer together on a resort island and experience a test of their friendship when family loyalties, romance, and drug dependence interfere.
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Grade 7-12 In alternating chapters, down-to-earth Ali and cool, distant Simone observe themselves and their precarious friendship during one summer when Ali's family rents a cottage behind Simone's family's mansion on Dune Island. Conrad presents each girl's thoughts about herself and her relationships through monologues which reveal the parallels in the two girls' lives. Simone has never come to terms with the tragic death of her beloved nanny, a death she fears that she caused. Her absent father and self-destructive alcoholic mother seem incabable of helping her. She does not care to reach out to Ali, of whom she is mildly contemptuous, seeing her as ordinary and shallow. Ali, much loved by her parents, cannot understand Simone's need to abuse their precarious relationship. During a party, Simone steals off for a sexual interlude with the young man in whom Ali is interested. Events come to a tragic climax when a fire badly burns Simone's mother. One of the consequences of this event is that Simone is finally given the help that she has so desperately needed, and Ali is at last able to recognize that she herself is the wealthy one. Images of home, of promises, of loyalty, and the use of gold and silver imagery to capture Simone's life echo through both girls' accounts of that summer. Conrad's strength here as in Holding Me Here (1986) , Prairie Songs (1987) , and What I Did for Roman (1987, all Harper) is her fine ear for dialogue and her ability to get into the thoughts and feelings of young adults. This book might be used along with Zindel's Pigman (Harper, 1968) and Childress' Rainbow Jordan (Coward, 1981) to help readers to see distinctly different points of view and how they can mesh to create a story. Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Conrad transforms a YA stereotypethe nasty, beautiful rich girlinto a multifaceted character worthy of understanding and sympathy. Told in alternating chapters, the story of Simone and Ali's friendship begins warily one summer on Dune Island. Ali's father, a famous writer, has rented the cottage on Simone's family's estate. Simone is desperate for a friend but has trouble reaching out, for she is haunted by her secrets, one in the pastat age seven, she saw her beloved Jamaican nanny drownand one in the presenther mother's drug and alcohol abuse. Ali is much more forthright; she loves and is loved by her parents, and learns just how complex human beingseven an outwardly perfect oneare. A romantic betrayal, a fiery accident involving cocaine free-basing and a near tragedy at the site of the earlier drowning unwind with precision and a feeling of inevitability, as if these two friends have been set on a fateful course from the first moment they met. Conrad's story resonates with truth and caring; she poetically elevates friendship to a state in which redemption is possible. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Cover Missing. Light shelving wear with minimal damage to cover and bindings. Pages show minor use. Bookseller Inventory # G0060213175I3N01
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Book Description Harpercollins Childrens Books, 1988. Book Condition: Good. 1st. N/A. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP94004940
Book Description Harpercollins Childrens Books, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 1988. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Nr Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Nr Fine. 1st Edition 1st Printing. Dj clean, showing little wear; not price clipped. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Unmarked Minor Shelfwear. Bookseller Inventory # 046743
Book Description Harpercollins Childrens Books, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 1988. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. First Edition. First Printing. Blue cloth spine with green boards. Clean pages with no markings in the text except for the normal library markings and attachments. Some dog-eared pages. The spine is lightly cocked. The dust jacket is enclosed in a clear plastic cover and is taped to the book. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Ex-Library. Bookseller Inventory # 008322
Book Description Harpercollins Childrens Books, 1988. Book Condition: Good. This book has hardback covers. Ex-library, With usual stamps and markings, In good all round condition. Dust Jacket in fair condition. Bookseller Inventory # 3112360
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