THE GIRL IN THE GRASS by David Roth

THE GIRL IN THE GRASS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A girl with long golden hair, singing in a field by the sea: this vision has haunted Tom Stevens' life, ""like someone else's memory."" He's afraid he might be crazy. Then, on a trip to Boston with the aunt and uncle who've raised him, Tom sees the same scene in three paintings at an outdoor art show. The artist's name is Sylvia Murphy; and at last, reluctantly, his aunt and uncle tell him that he had a sister Sylvia, ten years older, who took him to them when he was orphaned at age five. Sylvia would be 97 now. If readers drawn in by the suggestion of the paranormal are a shade disappointed by this realistic turn of events, they will easily become involved in Tom's search for Sylvia as he takes a room in Boston and begins to track her down through galleries and art supply shops. Some contacts seem to withhold information, and there are hints of a terrible childhood and recurrent nervous breakdowns. When brother and sister meet at last on Cape Ann, where they grew up, Sylvia is past help. She tells Tom about their abusive father, but refuses to return to her Boston psychiatirst, as Tom urges. And so the search ends in a parting. Still, ""I'm not going to crawl into a hole because of this,"" Tom says to Alice--the ""older"" gallery owner who has taken a fancy to him, lent him her Fiat for the trip to Cape Ann, and become his first love affair. So: an intriguing lead-in, a little glamour in Alice, a little urban grit (a burglar, a run-in with tough kids, a terrible landlady) to initiate a kid on his own, and the unraveling mystery of Tom and Sylvia's past--all put together professionally and unpretentiously.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1982
Publisher: Beaufort--dist. by Scribners