Mothers and Other Strangers: Stories

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9780152003128: Mothers and Other Strangers: Stories
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A collection of stories highlights the similar problems faced by women of all ages, including the pensive, eighteen-year-old Ginny; seventeen-year-old Loretta, who is alone; and fifty-five-year-old Allison, who cannot help crying all the time.

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From Booklist:

Gr. 9^-12. The narrators in these stories are almost all middle-aged, some are older. So why is this being published as a YA book? Is it because fans of Wilson's prizewinning YA collection The Leaving (1992) want more? Or is it because this anthology couldn't get published as an adult book? The last question is always thrown at YA books, but in this case, the problem of audience is a real issue. Of course, teens are interested in the lives and memories of adults, but it's hard to believe YA readers will care about the courtship of septuagenarians or that teens will understand the elderly widow who loved her husband but enjoys her new freedom. Some of the stories try for a therapeutic message, but today's teen outsider will scarcely identify with the loner who returns strong and famous to her class reunion--at age 76. In the best story, a child discovers a shocking family secret among her elderly relatives. In another, two lonely outsiders find each other to be beautiful. Several narrators remember the anguish of sibling rivalry, and of trying to be a "good" (i.e., dependent) girl. What's best about these stories is that they're not nostalgic: the adults remember being ugly, shy, frightened, angry. That doesn't change. Hazel Rochman

From School Library Journal:

Grade 12 Up?In nine heartfelt, emotionally true stories, Wilson tells interpersonal tales of women who range in age from teens to senior citizens. In one, a college graduate learns exactly what her old roommate was doing when she appeared to be listening to her friends' trials and tribulations. In another, two self-supporting young misfits go camping individually and find romance. In others, a 76-year-old finds triumph at her school reunion; a 55-year-old discovers therapy between the jackets of her diary to help her contend with a miserable family life; and a 43-year-old postal worker cum poet relishes his unrequited love. A few elements are common to all of the episodes: most of the protagonists are women of at least middle age, though they may be looking back on days of their youth; and, in general, the men they encounter are pompous, arrogant, and insensitive. Often, readers catch a glimpse of a truth hidden even from the person who has lived it. Though the stories are well crafted and the characters engaging, this worthwhile anthology will be a hard sell for even sophisticated YA readers.?Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Budge Wilson
Published by Harcourt Childrens Books (J) (1996)
ISBN 10: 0152003126 ISBN 13: 9780152003128
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Budge Wilson
Published by Harcourt Childrens Books (1996)
ISBN 10: 0152003126 ISBN 13: 9780152003128
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