GARDEN OF BROKEN GLASS by Emily Cheney Neville


Email this review


Interacting in the St. Louis slums (the garden of the title, where ""something got to grow"") are Brian, skinny and white, with an absent father and an alcoholic mother; Martha, fat and black, who befriends Brian and finds herself a boyfriend in serious, militant James; Dwayne and Melvita, also black, who are steadies except for a while when Dwayne is troubled and reclusive and Melvita takes up with indifferent Anthony. Almost aimlessly, the narrative skips from one of the four principals' viewpoints to the next, but mostly this is about Brian, who is helped by the others (in the closest thing to a main plot) to face his miserable family situation, lt's not that thin--there are minor characters and involving scenes, such as Dwayne's nightmarish evening as an unwilling accomplice to two older boys who brutalize and rip off the project's elderly tenants--but it is that blandly, painlessly integrated. But even disregarding racial tensions, we wonder at Brian's finding any three such stronger, surer kids who are this indulgent of his dreamy, bumbling ways.

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1975
Page count: 216pp
Publisher: Delacorte