BLUES FOR SILK GARCIA by Erika Tamar

BLUES FOR SILK GARCIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The resemblance, she's told, is uncanny. ""It's Silk all over again,"" says Ray Bronson, the musician who comes to tell Linda's mother that Linda's father is dead. But Linda, whose drained, bitter mother won't discuss him, knows only that her father was a jazz guitarist. All she's heard from him since age two is the guitar he sent her when she was eight. Despite her mother's disapproval, Linda has been practicing diligently since then, and new at 15 she's taking classes at the Guitar Institute, where she impresses students and teachers with her talents. One of the students is Michael Harrison, leader of the incrowd at her high school; and soon, incredibly, they are seeing each other every day, sneaking off to her apartment during high school lunch break, known in the crowd as a couple. It's Michael who gets the two of them an audition with an agent, but when Michael, who hasn't her talent and won't practice, flubs the act, Linda insists on showing her stuff alone. She impresses the agent but loses Michael, who believes she's used him to get the audition. Meanwhile Linda has been tracking down acquaintances of her father, learning that he was a ""brilliant musician, a real genius,"" but also a drinker and a junkie and at last, from a fellow musician unaware of her identity, ""a user. A psycho."" Once, the musician tells her, down on his luck and out with his little girl Linda (""she was about two years old""), Silk tried to sell her to an admiring couple for $500.00. The revelation bits hard, especially in the wake of Michael's accusation. But Linda is committed to her music, and Ray helps her get back to it. ""Whatever you de, good or bad, it's all yours, girl. Don't lay it on Silk Garcia."" It's a classic YA theme, and Tamar gives it an unusually textured and ambiant life. Both Linda's voice and all the dialogue are natural and on key from start to finish. With the likely appeal of the musical setting, a winner.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1983
Publisher: Crown