Books by Sarah Lamstein

HUNGER MOON by Sarah Lamstein
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 30, 2004

Quick, episodic glimpses into sixth-grader Ruth Tepper's life in 1954 reveal a family beset by the random, confusing, contagious effects of anger. Her obsessively tidy, perfectionist mother and inarticulate father work in their own bookstore, and Ruth, frequent caregiver for her three younger brothers, finds herself hungry for what she lacks: warmth, comfort, and attention. A swirl of volatile emotions seems to churn particularly around Eddy, the next oldest, a mentally retarded third-grader with a penchant for maps. Eddy's habit of removing chewed food from his mouth is the focus of his mother's furious attention at family dinners, and a visible representation of the discord that seems to overwhelm everyone. Though she longs to protect Eddy, Ruth is angry, too. She terrifies Eddy on Halloween in unconscious revenge for—and imitation of—the blame her mother imposes on her. Yet Ruth also begins to find the courage and compassion that can break the pattern. Lamstein's spare first-person narrative deftly sketches a remarkably complex picture with few extra strokes. (Fiction. 10-13)Read full book review >