MAZEMAKER by Catherine Dexter


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Her mother and stepfather are preoccupied with a new baby, and there's nowhere to play in her crowded, graffiti-marked neighborhood, so Winnie (12) is at loose ends--till a mysterious maze appears outlined on a local playground/teen-hangout and she observes a cat disappear at its center. Herself a maze enthusiast, Winnie is intrigued; she dares to follow the cat's example and finds herself transported back 100 years--and hospitably taken in at the mansion that will be a nursing home in her 1989 neighborhood. Lily, a girl her age, is willing to believe Winnie's story; the maze is feared and avoided in the 19th century, though some people wish to make use of its power. Winnie becomes involved with these long-ago people; more important, she realizes how much she wants to go home, which she finally succeeds in doing. Once back, she is able to track down the mazemaker--a 17th-century man who had escaped a dire fate through the maze--and send him back to the 19th century, where he was loved and needed. Later, Winnie learns more in local historical archives, where she discovers a letter to her from Lily. Overlong, the novel drags a bit, and there are loose ends that serve no thematic purpose--e.g., why Winnie's mother refuses to discuss Winnie's dead father. However, the palpable sense of place (in both centuries), Winnie's believable reactions, and the intriguing device of the maze all contribute to making this enjoyable.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1989
ISBN: 688-07383-2
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
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