CLAIR-DE-LUNE by Cassandra Golds


Age Range: 9 - 12
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Goopily sentimental, drearily didactic, with not a single emotion un-telegraphed or story trope un-pilfered, this forced effort will appeal to only the most unsophisticated romantic. The 14-year-old of the title is a ballet dancer who lives in an odd building of many stories with her grandmother, also a dancer, and the memory of her mother, who died onstage dancing the dying swan. Clair-de-Lune does not speak, but she is devoted to dance while under the severe hand of her controlling grandmother. She meets a mouse named Bonaventure who can speak, however, and who is teaching dance to his fellow mice. Bonaventure reveals a hidden doorway in Clair-de-Lune’s building that leads to a monastery, where a young monk, Brother Inchmahome, encourages her to think about why she cannot speak. There are dreams and portents; nasty girls who tease her; a magical bird with a red-gold heart who remains mysteriously just out of reach; death; redemption; and surprise revelations. Twaddle—and sloppy twaddle at that. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 2006
ISBN: 0-375-83395-1
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2006