The downbeat ending is uncommon enough in these parts and Sara/Lillun's hazy memories of better times with her...

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WHEN THE SAD ONE COMES TO STAY

The downbeat ending is uncommon enough in these parts and Sara/Lillun's hazy memories of better times with her life-affirming, non-performing dad and half-brother Bigun are just poetic enough to make a zinger of a first impression. But think twice and you'll realize that Sara's mock-innocent admiration for a mother who's clearly gawdawful--in fact stereotypically grasping and bitchy--is not the voice of any real child, and of course Sara's choice between the better sort of friends mother Sally lines up and her loyalty to frumpy, superstitious, half-mad Maisie is an obvious set-up--no less of a cliche because Sara makes the ""wrong"" decision that will break old Maisie's heart. Heide brings a certain panache to her pursuit of pathos (remember The Key, 1971) but for all the slickness here, the affinity between a lonely kid and an outcast oldster has been handled with more sensitivity elsewhere. A three handkerchief job.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1975

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1975