Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Last Summer of the Camperdowns, by Elizabeth Kelly

One day Elizabeth Kelly is going to be a great writer -- after she learns to temper her use of simile and metaphor, to avoid the repetition of the same plot devices, to be a little more subtle in her characterizations, to make every plot point stand up to a questioning of whether it would ever happen.  I like Kelly's imaginative writing and humor, and I sympathize with her point that adults often fail to attend to and cherish the fragile gift of their children.   In this book, 12 year old Riddle James Camperdown overhears what seems to be something pretty awful, but perhaps because her parents are too self-involved to notice her melt down, or because she's confused or frightened, or because she waits too long to tell, or because she gets interrupted every time she starts to confess, she doesn't tell the adult world of her movie star mother and politician father what she heard. Instead, she fights with her parents, falls in love, and overhears more secrets than she knows what to do with.

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