TUNES FOR A SMALL HARMONICA by Barbara Wersba

TUNES FOR A SMALL HARMONICA

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

. . . played by J. F. McAllister, a Park Avenue high schooler who falls suddenly in love with her pale, introverted poetry teacher, nurses him through the flu, raises a thousand dollars playing her harmonica on the street in the mistaken belief that he needs the money to complete his thesis in England, and then on the night that she's dolled herself up to seduce him, discovers that he's both married and rich. Previously J. F., who wears boys' clothes and looks, according to her mother, like a teenage cab driver, had wondered if she were a lesbian; at the end of this nonaffair she has, for consolation, a newly discovered talent (thanks to her best friend's gift of a harmonica) and a better acceptance of herself as is. Her story is told in standard teenage first person, complete with breathless digressions, brittle desperation (easy to recognize but too self-protective for readers to really share), glibly satirized minor characters, some funny scenes, and a sophisticated surface verity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Harper & Row