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by Catherine Lewis

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-82852-7
Publisher: Atheneum

In her first YA novel, Lewis delivers a deceptively simple, in-depth psychological portrait of an angry girl who finds courage in her dreams of Abraham Lincoln. Meghan, 16, has lost nearly everything she loves. Her mother was killed in a car accident; her brother, Killian, has been psychologically destroyed during his tour of duty in Vietnam; her school has expelled her; her father, whom she calls the Banker, is a constant source of fighting. Early on in life, Meghan exhibited extraordinary talent for and joy in running. As the story opens, she has lost a leg to cancer, and has retreated into rage, refusing to undergo rehabilitation. In the hospital she clings to one remaining love: her affection for Lincoln, who lived in her hometown of Springfield, Illinois. As she ponders scenes from her life and from his, she begins to write postcards to him in which she expresses her frustrations. One night after taking a powerful sleeping pill she finds a visitor in her room: Lincoln himself. Meghan’s postcards have replaced the holy cards she collected as a girl in Catholic school, and she passes on their power to her damaged brother. Lewis’s sentences are as spare as her brief chapters, presenting snapshots of Meghan reminiscent of her postcards. Scenes of anger, sorrow, and fleeting happiness merge to produce recognizable characters who walk and breathe in this impressive first effort. (Fiction. 12-14)