On the eve of her twelfth birthday, Cora convinces herself that the father she has never known is on his way to see her.
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As she turns 12, Cora finds it increasingly hard to believe that her father, who returned to Greece before she was born, has never communicated with her. Suddenly, reading portents in the ramblings of the street people she and her best friend Charley like to interview, she's sure he's coming. Haunted by dreams in which her hopes are translated into variations on the myth of Europa; disturbed by finding her mother's letters to her father, plus one from him to Cora about which she was never told; discovering that Charley, whom she has always believed to be a straightforward fount of interesting facts, is also deeply distressed by the loss of his father (who died of a brain tumor)- -Cora's image of her father is already being transformed before he turns up in the book's last pages to complete the transformation with a disappointing reality. The events are sparse in this carefully structured, beautifully written story, but Cora's inner life is fascinating, rich with interconnected leitmotifs--jump-rope rhymes, angels and madmen, science and magic, ideas within ideas (such as the clairvoyant ``Lady Moon'' born with ``three veils''). It's a story that, like Paterson's Park's Quest (1988), makes a mother's pain at being abandoned comprehensible without losing focus on its effect on her child; meanwhile, Geringer creates a protagonist of integrity who is assimilating difficult facts about her past while becoming more sensitively attuned to her mother and closest friend. An unusually fine first novel. (Fiction. 10-14) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-7-- Cora, as she turns 12, is consumed with finding out about her father, who left for Greece to become a firewalker before she was born. Groping for an image of him, she presses her mother for information, while at night her dreams are tangled in Greek mythology and episodes of fruitless searching. When Cora's father does appear out of nowhere, she is stunned and disillusioned. Although her mother has always provided loving understanding and support, it is Charley, Cora's best and only friend, who makes the difference in helping her resolve her obsession with her father, as she comes to see her friend in a new light. The plot is a familiar one--fixation on a missing parent--but Cora's relentless pursuit is convincing. She is a troubled, original, thoroughly engaging protagonist. Charley, too, is appealing and Cora's mother is no stereotype. The characters are portrayed with humor and insight. However, the time sequencing is confusing, and some of the imagery is heavy handed or overwritten. Still, this is a thoughtful, absorbing story about a young girl who discovers that as one door closes another opens. --Phyllis G. Sidorsky, National Cathedral School, Washington, DC
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harpercollins Childrens Books, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060238496
Book Description Harpercollins Childrens Books, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060238496