BROOKLYN ROSE by Ann Rinaldi


Age Range: 10 - 15
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Fifteen-year-old Rose, the younger daughter of a South Carolina plantation owner, marries a handsome, very rich silk merchant out of a sense of obligation to her struggling family. Rene, much older and more sophisticated than his child bride, is kind, loving, and supportive through Rose’s first forays into New York life. It’s a sweet idea, but the story lacks focus, consistency, believable characterization, and credibility. Rinaldi has never lived in the South, or she would know that people on the Gullah islands don’t get ice skates for Christmas. Someone should have caught that electric refrigerators weren’t invented in 1900. The journal format works very much against it: Rose’s voice sounds too old, and entries such as, “a steamer arrived from San Francisco and there are forty-one deaths from the Plague on it,” are straight out of the Google center for historical research. And the plot—does Rose love him?—isn’t even interesting. An author’s note explains that this is Rinaldi’s imagined version of the early marriage of her maternal grandparents, whom she never knew. Sometimes Rinaldi hits the mark; here she falls short. (Fiction. 10-15)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-15-205117-1
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2004


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