As a result of confronting his father with an unacceptable revelation, Richard (18), on vacation from university, has left...

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THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE

As a result of confronting his father with an unacceptable revelation, Richard (18), on vacation from university, has left home in his old VW without planning a destination. He picks up a 16-year-old hitchhiker, Bonny--a street-smart waif who is leaving her assortment of down-and-out left-wing roommates in disgust. Striking up a tentative friendship, they find jobs and temporary quarters among squatters in a condemned building in London. Richard is horrified when Bonny defrauds her employer of the price of their groceries; Bonny, well-versed in the propriety of helping oneself to the products of a capitalist society, is nonplussed by his compunctions. In the end, both return to their former lives, broadened and in some sense freed by their mutual experience: Bonny, her self-image bolstered, leaves her leech of a boyfriend and returns to the one nurturing foster home she encountered during a bleak childhood; Richard is ready to accept more openly the fact that precipitated his quarrel with his father--his homosexuality, which, though obvious to readers from the book's beginning, is never explicit till the final pages. Although Ure doesn't delve very deeply into the psyches of her protagonists, and none of their problems presents major obstacles, she has written a plausible, thoroughly modern updating of Chute's Innocent Wayfaring that should prove engaging to both outsiders and more privileged readers.

Pub Date: March 1, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988