LIZA'S STAR WISH by Diane Stevens


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After a year of the grief and turmoil following her sister Holly's drowning, Liza, 14, doesn't want to leave San Antonio to spend the summer in Rockport, Texas, with her cranky, self-centered, bigoted grandmother, Mama Lacey, who has broken her hip. Liza's whole family is still grieving; her mother reads lots of self-help books and tries to pull things together with organized discussions. Liza is angry at everyone, and not always reasonably: Among her targets are her best friend, Chloe, for moving to Houston, and Holly, for dying. Once Liza is in Rockport, sending E-mails to her sweetly individualistic boyfriend makes home seem closer. When Chloe visits, Liza is surprised to find out that best friends can do a lot of growing apart in different cities, and recognizes a side of Chloe that is disquieting. As a reaction to Chloe's rigid perception of honesty, Liza begins to navigate her own path of tolerance and understanding. With skill, Stevens (Liza's Blue Moon, 1995) depicts the complicated nuances of emotions and behavior within a family--the hopes, disappointments, misplaced but well-intentioned efforts, and small acts of courage that hit home. As a result, Liza and her family are very real, while Chloe, a necessary foil, is only slightly less believable. A thoughtful novel, written with great feeling.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
Page count: 166pp
Publisher: Greenwillow