Strawberry Hill

A. LaFaye

Published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
ISBN 10: 0689829612 / ISBN 13: 9780689829611
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Raleia doesn't feel like she belongs in the modern world. And she doesn't feel like she belongs with her hippie parents, either. So when her family moves to Tidal, Maine, Raleia is excited to be in town with some history -- especially one that was demolished by a tidal wave in 1911. But her parents don't understand her preoccupation with the past, or her need to be "from" somewhere. Instead, Raleia finds herself turning to Mr. Rutherford, the sad, reclusive old man who lives on Strawberry Hill. Can he help her find a time and place of her own?

From Publishers Weekly: Set in 1974, LaFaye's (The Year of the Sawdust Man) meandering novel focuses on 12-year-old Raleia Pendel, who is preoccupied by an idyllic view of the past. Spending a summer in Tidal, Maine, a town preserved (as a tourist attraction) to look as it did when hit by a tidal wave in 1911, Raleia feels like a misfit. While she dreams about fancy dress balls, tea parties and proper etiquette, she criticizes her parents' "hippie" behavior and her brother's attraction to slimy creatures and unusual food combinations. Taunted by the neighborhood children, she takes their dare and ventures onto the property of town recluse Ian Rutherford and discovers an unlikely companion. Rebuked by Rutherford, Raleia nevertheless pursues what she believes to be a genteel elder statesman. Through their tenuous friendship, Raleia discovers that his immersion in the past is as unrealistic as her picture of the good old days, when parents spent more time worrying about their children than picketing. LaFaye's minutely detailed descriptions of the setting distract from Raleia's complex emotional drama, and readers may have difficulty understanding Rutherford's erratic behavior. They may also have trouble understanding Raleia's wholesale rejection of her culture. Still, the moving final chapters in which Raleia discovers the truth about Rutherford's situation and draws closer to her family are worth the effort to reach. Ages 8-12. (June)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Strawberry Hill
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Very Good

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