A novel of teenage angst and the lessons of life.
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Teenage fantasies of horror in the house next door yield to the reality of a family falling apart--in this YA-ish debut novel from screenwriter Merrick. Nelson Jaqua's 13th summer is also the summer of his discontent. It's 1962; the Portland, Oregon, teenager has been told to mind his little sister Maude all day long, which means no summer job and no joining his friends Cat and Tim in their detective work. The three loners have found common cause in investigating Bobby Shook's disappearance; tomboy Cat is convinced that Bobby's elderly parents have murdered the retarded Bobby and buried him in the basement. Meanwhile, their surveillance is a nice distraction for Cat from her own troubles: her mother has just run off with another man, leaving her alone with her uncommunicative father. But Nelson is in worse shape than Cat: Maude is driving him crazy; his parents, neglecting both him and Maude, are talking divorce; Cat and Tim have unaccountably started dating, cutting him out of the picture; and he has constant headaches. His solution is to break into the Shooks' house. Old man Shook catches him and demonstrates conclusively that there is no dead body: Bobby is in the hospital in a coma. Fortunately for Nelson, both the Shooks are sweethearts, who serve their young intruder blackberry pie and soon become surrogate parents for both Nelson and Maude, giving Cat the opportunity to make major mischief. A dramatic climax involving cops and a drawn gun shocks Nelson's folks into acknowledging their shortcomings. Nelson's efforts to cope with a world suddenly made treacherous by parental love withheld are described with delicacy and humor--in a distinctly above-average example of the coming-of- age genre. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Screenwriter Merrick's debut novel is an occasionally overwritten but nonetheless touching, funny look at what it's like to be 13, in love and confused. Set in Oregon in 1962-63, Shelter purports to be the secret diary of Nelson Jaqua, an awkward teen and budding novelist whose world is falling apart. His remote, physically abusive, philandering father, a department store executive, and his badgering mother, a self-absorbed painter, are getting a divorce and expect him to choose between them. Nelson also discovers that his two best friends--the gloomy Tim and the bitchy tomboy Cat--are romantically involved. The plot hinges on Nelson's neighbors, a quiet couple whom Nelson, Tim and Cat mistakenly believe have murdered their retarded son and buried him in the cellar. Long stretches of this tale read like a young adult novel, punctuated by flashes of keen insight, some bright dialogue and a few perfectly drawn characters; the dramatic, tearjerker ending demonstrates Nelson's quantum leap to maturity.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR003890154
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Book Description Headline Book Publishing 22/09/1994, 1994. Book Condition: Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Bookseller Inventory # 2341-9780747243687
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Book Description Headline Book Publishing 22/09/1994, 1994. Book Condition: Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780747243687