THE TOWER ROOM by Adèle Geras


Age Range: 12 & up
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 The author of, most recently, Happy Endings (1991) begins a trilogy about British schoolgirls whose lives parallel familiar fairy tales. Protagonist Megan (Rapunzel) is an orphan whose schoolmistress guardian, Dorothy, satisfied Megan's mother's craving for asparagus (a stand-in for rampion/rape) before Megan's birth. With intriguing ingenuity, Geras mimics the original tale: the three girls room in a tower conveniently equipped with a workmen's scaffold that Simon, a young science instructor, climbs for trysts with Megan; Dorothy, who also entertains romantic notions about Simon, discovers the guilty pair and exiles them after crushing Simon's glasses. Geras writes with imagination and grace, following the story of ``Rapunzel'' but also having Megan narrate from a London flat where the lovers are confronting the unromantic realities of dead-end jobs--an instructive contrast to the ardent scenes in the tower. Here, too, as in the original story, the characters are schematic--Simon, especially, exists as a one-dimensional object of passion (another sly lesson). But what most holds attention is the fascinating parallel between the credible modern details and the original. Roommates Bella, whose jealous stepmother plies her with apples, and Alice, one of whose 13 aunts caused a fuss at her christening, presage the pleasures in the books to follow. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-15-289627-9
Page count: 150pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1992


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