Books by Nancy Bond

Released: Oct. 1, 1997

A surprisingly unsatisfying novel from Bond (Truth to Tell, 1994, etc.) about an American in London, and then Scotland, attempting to be a good friend under increasingly exasperating circumstances. When Charlotte, 16, arrives in London to visit Oliver, she feels lost and weary. Oliver is secretive and irritable, and the reason becomes clear—his parents thought that Charlotte's trip had been postponed and have left him alone. He intends to take advantage of their absence to have an adventure with Charlotte, rushing through London with her and then heading to Scotland to locate an old man who was a friend of Oliver's beloved, deceased uncle. Along the way, they encounter a wandering, troubled, pregnant teen, Ariadne, whose function seems to be to spew forced insights. There's no payoff for suffering through nearly 300 pages of Oliver and Charlotte's bickering. The settings are richly painted, and Bond invests admirably in background explanations, but readers will be left with too many questions about Oliver's secrecy, and about Charlotte's interest in him in the first place. (Fiction. 12-15) Read full book review >
TRUTH TO TELL by Nancy Bond
Released: April 1, 1994

In 1958, Christine and her unwilling daughter Alice, 14, come from Cambridge, England, to Dunedin, New Zealand, where Christine has been hired to help wealthy Miss Fairchild write the history of her elegant mansion. Arriving in the old woman's absence (she's an inveterate traveler), they find the house in a daunting state of neglect. Its only staff is a gruff, uncooperative gardener, and Miss Fairchild's lawyer sees Christine as a housekeeper who will somehow manage the huge house unaided. Meanwhile, there's no word from Alice's lovable but irresponsible stepfather, Len, who was out of touch when they sailed and may not choose to follow. Bond (A String in the Harp, 1976, Newbery Honor) is a grand storyteller; her characters are so vividly realized that readers who share their experiences will feel a wrench at the end, despite a generous epilogue. As in real life, expected dramas don't always materialize (most of the girls at Alice's new school are friendly from the start; Len does show up) and new questions sometimes go unresolved (there's a mystery about Alice's father). Meanwhile, curmudgeonly Miss Fairchild's past troubles her but, more importantly, she's a fine painter, though one who will be recognized only in the future: She's one of the ``odd socks'' whose lives, Alice and her new friends agree, are as fulfilling as more conventional ones. A rewarding, old-fashioned read with a wealth of engaging characters. (Fiction. 12+) Read full book review >