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CAROLINA AUTUMN by Carol Lynch Williams

CAROLINA AUTUMN

By Carol Lynch Williams

Age Range: 12 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-385-32716-1
Publisher: Delacorte

Carolina, age 14, reeling from the staggering loss of her father and older sister, navigates the beginning of her first year in high school. It seems that with the exception of her sometimes-overwhelming grief, circumstances are improving. Her mother is surfacing from her own year of mourning and the cute, sensitive boy next door “really likes” her. With each step forward, however, something always seems to pull her back. Slowly more of the true story of the family is revealed through Carolina’s musings. Williams captures realistic domestic dialogue and family dynamics—dinner-table fights, girl-talks, mom in the morning—and the tentative verbal play of a young romance. When her best friend Mara betrays her, as does the boy, Carolina’s notes to her dead sister, a thread throughout the story, become even more poignant. Carolina, Mara, and Garret are typical adolescents, behaving in typical ways; what sets them apart is Carolina’s loss of a pathfinder, her sister, and her struggle to find her own way alone. Engaging. (Fiction. 12-14)