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Having led a rootless life with her mother and sister after their father's death in a fire, Mack Humbel is afraid of forming relationships in her new home of Homer's Cove, until she realizes what her fear of loss is costing her.
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Grade 5-7-Mack, 13, is in charge of her family's gypsy life. Since the death of her father, she has been transient along with her antique-dealing, house-sitting mother Maggie and her younger sister, Amaryllis. As Maggie says, "My Mack is a master of organization. Why shouldn't we benefit from that?" Mack's self-imposed isolation and self-control and Amaryllis's refusal to speak a single word date from their father's death as he heeded their pleas and tried to rescue their dog from their burning house five years earlier. Mack's near burnout as she loses control over their lives and finally accepts that change and friendship can be good for all of them are the pivotal moments in this solidly crafted, realistic novel. Interesting characters are well drawn, including a truly distraught, flower-child mother; an eccentric aunt; and a cast of characters Mack calls "EWGs," or "Extremely Weird Group," with whom she finally forms friendships. The Adirondack setting is vividly captured through descriptions of townsfolk and the environment, and the language is natural and engaging. The plot is somewhat uneven, moving slowly at times. Nonetheless, this portrait of a strong young woman growing up in a demanding situation will engage both the hearts and heads of many young readers.
Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Since the death of Mack's father in a fire, Mack, her younger sister, Amaryllis, and their mother, Maggie, have become gypsies. Professional house-sitters, they never stay in one place long enough to become attached. Mack likes it that way, and she also likes speaking for her sister, who stopped talking after the fire. Since their move to Homer's Cove, though, things are changing. Mack feels she is losing her grip on the family as Maggie acquires a boyfriend, Amaryllis makes a new friend, and blunt, bossy Aunt Sydney moves in. Like Elyse Donaldson in Carol Lynch Williams' If I Forget, You Remember , Mack is a strong-willed, not very likable main character who is forced to change as life moves on. The plot moves slowly, and there's a very stereotyped librarian among the characters. However, there are also a number of pluses--including a strongly drawn Adirondack Mountain setting, poetic portrayals of the townsfolk, and a lively, amusing depiction of what it's like to be on the receiving end of an unwanted crush. Susan Dove Lempke
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Book Description Hyperion, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0786823682