HORNET’S NEST by Bart Moeyaert


Age Range: 12 - 14
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One turbulent day in the life of 14-year-old Suzanne slowly reveals her past. Living with her strange, widowed mother in a small European village, which is beset with emotional conflict, she contrives to stir things up even further. Readers will struggle to discover the reasons for all of the tension in the village, aside from simple personality conflicts. It seems that Suzanne’s veterinarian father was the victim of an accidental shooting by the local squire. Her mother has become something of a hermit, but they have maintained a warm relationship with Helen, a midwife who delivered Suzanne and who owns a kennel. The townspeople want to get rid of Helen’s barking dogs, and Suzanne’s mother suddenly decides to sign the petition, further angering the girl. Suzanne pursues a young puppeteer who visits the village during its annual summer festival, and under his influence, she decides to release the dogs. When the puppeteer catches them, Suzanne returns to her mother and hopes their wounds will be healed. Many young readers will have difficulty understanding the story, full of slow-moving descriptive passages and little action. The turmoil of the village reflects Suzanne’s adolescent turmoil, her conflicts with her mother, and her lingering pain over her father’s death. More literary-minded readers may, with some effort, find a story of adolescent angst that will satisfy them, but it may not be worth the energy. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-886910-48-0
Page count: 128pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2000


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