Three generations of a family living in the cathedral city of Lincoln struggle to reach out to one another in the midst of their own personal crises.
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Grade 8-10 Jason ' s mother is deciding whether or not to leave her husband, his teenage sister is thinking of having her first affair, his uncle is battling arthritis and the sharper pain of guilt. And Jason? He observes the unhappiness around him and seems obsessed by a half-remembered childhood terror which centers around a visit to Lincoln Cathedral . This teen novel is very different from the first-person recitation of grievances, delivered by a whining narrator of limited vocabulary and experience, which sometimes passes for YA literature. Corlett's third-person omniscience allows readers to participate in emotions which his characters seldom articulate or understand: pulling against each other, wanting space yet needing closeness and unable to reconcile the two desires. Not wanting to hurt each other, but they wound each other all the same, as much by what is NOT said, as by their words. Even Corlett's adults are effectively portrayed. They have needs and dreams which have been blunted by the everydayness of things. Their problems drive the story, more than do those of the teenage characters. Although the cathedral is also imbued with life, the scenes within its confines are less successful. Jason's fantasy (?) experiences seem to reflect a striving toward a haunting quality or symbolism, neither of which is realized. Further, foreshadowing is clumsy, which weakens the plot's effectiveness. Still, teens who like character studies which combine uncompromising realism with compassionate insight may enjoy this book. Holly Sanhuber, Muskego Public Library, Wis.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harpercollins Childrens Books, 1985. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060213434