WILD ROVER by Carolyn Meyer


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When Jimmy Chavez breaks out of jail to see his daughter, she is not what he expects: last seen at five, his ""most beautiful Andrea. The Prettiest Princess"" has become a willful, sullen 15-year-old with spiked hair and punk makeup. Wondering if he's making a mistake, he asks her to run with him; they snatch a few supplies and take off into a wilderness area, pursued by police. Though Andrea is suffering from a classic case of aggravated adolescence, she responds to Jimmy with more interest and respect than she has to either her mother or her stepfather. She and Jimmy exchange views, memories, and confessions, gradually discovering that their differences conceal many similarities; both are cast as intelligent people with a penchant for bad choices. Jimmy expects to be killed by certain other inmates if he's ever returned to prison; Andrea has had an abortion and is on the way to becoming a dropout. At book's end, Meyer supplies a potential role model for Andrea--vivacious, down-to-earth Etta Bloomfield, a septuagenarian writer-artist living in a remote cabin; Etta persuades Jimmy to travel on alone, while giving Andrea an idea of the difference between independence and rebellion. There are several complex issues embedded in this outdoor survival adventure, giving it a rushed, sketchy quality; still, the father-daughter interplay is absorbing.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1989
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry/Macmillan