PAPER DOLL by Elizabeth Feuer


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High-school senior Leslie is a fine musician whose mastery of the violin began ten years ago, after she lost both legs in an accident. When she meets Jeff, whose mild cerebral palsy affects his walk, their attraction is immediate. As they become involved, Leslie's music suffers, and her father becomes concerned about her career. She knows that his encouragement may have been the source of her achievements, but can't understand his apparent need to control her life. In ""bargaining"" with her gift, Leslie almost loses it--but ultimately takes charge of her own future. Feuer's first book, One Friend to Another (1987), offered a simple, familiar story with verve and budding skill; the more complex issues here are also more difficult to convey as smoothly. Readers will root for Leslie and Jeff's tender romance and believe that her talent is genuine; but some of the dialogue is arch and enigmatic, while the first-person narration occasionally voices expansive insights that don't seem inherent in Leslie's character. Still, a bittersweet approximation of the struggle for artistic freedom within the bonds of another force--love--that can be even greater.

Pub Date: June 22nd, 1990
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux