Wood debuts with a nearly flawless, always charming coming-of-age tale. Set in a small North Carolina town in 1790, the...

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BECOMING ROSEMARY

Wood debuts with a nearly flawless, always charming coming-of-age tale. Set in a small North Carolina town in 1790, the novel focuses on adolescent Rosemary, her parents, and her sisters, Con and A-2. The baby of the family, Rosie compensates for her status with admirable reserves of gumption and wit. Wood provides a spirited rendering of the rivalry between Rosie and A-2, as well as the cooperation that keeps the family's small farm flourishing. She also blends into this admirably realistic narrative the notion that Rosie's mother and Con have supernatural abilities. Religious differences shape the novel's crisis, when a new Italian couple is condemned by the town's rabid Methodist. Rosie comes to realize that her mother and Con are also vulnerable to danger for being different, and must decide on her path when her own gifts become apparent. The novel concludes with the Italians--and Con--moving away. Readers may miss--or misunderstand--the early references to supernatural incidents; Wood's hand is so sure elsewhere that those references seem more wavering than subtle. Otherwise, this is an auspicious debut.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0375895043

Page Count: 247

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1996