KATHY by Aleda Renken


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Kathy, the onlooker, tells the story of a summer which encompasses illicit teenage love, a do-it-yourself abortion which is fatal for the young mother, and rumors of an affair between Kathy's mother and a young, blind pianist. Her own experiences include being presented with an heirloom engagement ring (from the same pianist) and at the (anti) climax--the purchase of her first bra. She is a gushy narrator (""I am Me, and everything I think, or see, or do is exciting and fun, and my way-out thinking is a secret thing.""). In between ""way-out"" thoughts she ponders a lot about sex but in a way that suggests that a maturer narrator would have been more helpful to girls. Take her handling of her younger sister's queries--""Do you know a lot about it."" ""No I don't. But I figure I'll learn more about it as I, grow older. I don't think it's something you ask your mother."" Events are highly melodramatic (without any real relevance to the story, Kathy saves the life of that glamorous pianist during a tornado), and they make the words which should have been to the wise seem lurid. Of the several recent stories for adolescents on sex and the single teenager this offers the least sophisticated judgment and the weakest fictional framework.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1966
Publisher: Watts