DOUBLE VISION by Diana Hendry


Age Range: 11 & up
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 Of the three Bishop girls--living in a 1950's British coastal town--only Lily, eight, was born after WW II; pampered by an anxious mother, she has elaborate strategies to cope with the dark and with fears of the ``Leftover Nazi'' she imagines hiding in the dunes. Rosa, the eldest, is an autocratic ``Virgin Queen''; after dating a series of elegant young men--her sisters call them the ``Droopers''--she's to marry a nice, upright naval officer whose rank of 108th in line for the throne is all her upwardly mobile parents could wish. Meanwhile, dependable ugly- duckling Eliza, 15, struggles with mixed feelings about her mature best friend Jo, fairly described as a ``tart,'' and about Jo's mother's lodger Jake, a man in his 20s who, with charming courtesy and real interest, exchanges philosophical musings with Eliza. Readers will be held by the lively incidents here, not least those involving a shrunken head that Lily snitches from Jo's house, which repeatedly threatens to cause trouble before it serves its nicely devised purpose in the story. But outstanding are the splendidly fresh, witty descriptions and rich characterizations, especially of Lily and Eliza, whose points of view alternate. Like Jane Austen, Hendry (1991 Whitbread Award) incisively satirizes class and convention while depicting the sisters with affectionate good humor; each lives through a crisis and moves closer to maturity, learning to ``see double''--``with the head and the heart. Reason and imagination.'' Wonderfully warm and complex; readers who enjoy this may go happily on to Pride and Prejudice. (Fiction. 11+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-56402-125-4
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1993


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