NOTHING IN COMMON by Barbara Bottner


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When Olga Gregori dies suddenly, her passing affects two 16-year-old gifts deeply, but in very different ways. Sara is Mrs. Gregori's beautiful daughter; Melissa Warren is the daughter of the woman for whom Mrs. Gregori kept house. Sara comes from poverty; Melissa comes from utter wealth. The story, told in the first person by both girls in alternating chapters, tells of Sara's deep resentment towards the Warrens and her campaign to get Mrs. Warren to pay for art school (a dream that Sara feels was put financially out of reach with the death of her mother); and of Melissa's feelings as she copes with the loss of a woman who was more mother to her than her own cold, distant mother, and With her jealously when Mrs. Warren begins to take an interest in Sara. The theme and the juxtaposition of the different worlds here are grounds for a powerful story--but Sara comes through as greedy and conniving, so unappealing as to set the reader wondering how she could be the daughter of the kind woman whom Melissa loved. When the reasons behind Sara's behavior do become clear, it's too late: the reader has been rooting for Melissa all the way, rather than being forced to sympathize with both girls. Both Melissa and Sara lose their virginity in heavy, but not explicit, scenes. Adequate, but lopsided.

Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 1986
Page count: 181pp
Publisher: Harper & Row