THE MOCKINGBIRD SONG by Berthe Amoss

THE MOCKINGBIRD SONG

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Lindy hates her new, young stepmother, Millie, and still pines for her feckless but loving mother, who ran off with a handsome salesman. Meanwhile, Dad is wrapped up in his pretty, pregnant wife, who has ""a little red pouting mouth and ice-queen eyes."" They pack Lindy off to her aunt's till the baby comes, but Lindy doesn't get along with her waspish aunt and teasing cousin; instead, she moves in next door ""to help"" aging, invalid Miss Ellie, the epitome of a southern lady. But though Miss Ellie is fond of her, her routine is dull for Lindy; and Lindy's presence makes extra work for the loving but hard-pressed black maid, Maybelle. When baby Carole comes, baby and mother are both perilously frail; in caring for them, kindy begins to establish bonds with both, while finally recognizing her ambivalence toward her missing mother and making peace with Dad. While this is a sharply observed picture of believable characters in 30's New Orleans, none of them is really sympathetic; Lindy is so sorry for herself that she wears out the reader as well as her family. Stepmother Millie, the self-centered belle, speaks (unlike most other characters) in a phonetically indicated drawl (""Ah've given her one whole yeah!"") and is particularly disagreeable. Capably written, and dealing with real issues, but not pleasant.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1988
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Harper & Row