The author really puts it to an inoffensive family in this lachrymose, superficial story. Dad stays behind, but Travis and...

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The author really puts it to an inoffensive family in this lachrymose, superficial story. Dad stays behind, but Travis and the rest of the family are off on a dream vacation to the Mexican resort of Punta Blanca. Teddy, nine, is thrilled to learn of a nearby nesting beach for a rare species of sea turtle, and regales his older brother and sister with turtle lore; but when he and Travis visit, they find the turtles being systematically harvested. Travis, a sarcastic, randy teen-ager, sets out to ogle sunbathers and happens on his mother discussing divorce with a man she obviously knows; later he meets a woman twice his age who invites him to her room. With a few nasty comments, Travis has his mother crying; sister Jennifer, who spends much of the book in tears, is nearly raped; and Teddy, trying to set a bunch of captured turtles free, dies of an aneurism. Dad flies down, the coroner delivers a lecture on aneurisms, and the grieving family departs, sadder and wiser. Occasional engrossing moments--e.g., a hilarious description of a wild taxicab ride or the discovery of a huge heap of rotting, eviscerated turtles--can't carry a story that tries to pack too much in. And Travis is a particularly insensitive observer.

Pub Date: March 1, 1988

ISBN: 0689870698

Page Count: 165

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988