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MANY STONES by Carolyn Coman Kirkus Star


by Carolyn Coman

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 2000
ISBN: 1-886910-55-3

Gripped by powerful, often contradictory, emotions, a bereaved teenager unexpectedly finds healing in a country struggling with its own wounds. More than a year after her older sister Laura’s murder in South Africa has turned her into a rebellious, mercurial loner, Berry reluctantly agrees to fly with her estranged father to Cape Town for the dedication of a memorial. It’s a long 11 days, as she meets the priest and children with whom Laura worked, tours Soweto and Robben Island, marvels at the wildlife in Krueger Park, and hears South Africans talk about their experiences and attitudes. She and her equally strong-minded father swing repeatedly between open hostilities and sincere efforts to establish some common ground. Writing with her usual economy and penetrating insight, Coman (Bee & Jacky, 1998, etc) portrays a young person searching for something—she’s not sure what—and finding it in keeping the link that her sister forged with an amazing people. These are people who have suffered for their beliefs, but now look resolutely toward a better future, alive. It’s an uplifting tale: harsh, complex, but lit at the end by a promise of reconciliation. (Fiction. YA)