STEFFIE CAN'T COME OUT TO PLAY by Fran Arrick

STEFFIE CAN'T COME OUT TO PLAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this unsensationalized story of teenage prostitution, ingenuous, small-town Stephanie arrives in New York with modeling aspirations, slips inevitably into The Life, and returns home after several months, appropriately wised up and apprehensive about her future. Author Arrick has used restraint and judgment in treating such a knotty subject, but the book seems plotted by intent rather than by inspiration. Steffie goes through the paces, enjoying a glittery new wardrobe and A-one attention from her glamorous pimp Favor, but her movements seem curiously mechanical, her experiences too carefully orchestrated. The 14-year-old hears about rather than witnesses the most treacherous Times Square scenes (drugs, violence) but has her share of eye-openers, presented with a little literary tailoring: her sequential losses of innocence (first trick, kinky request, arrest, etc.) are intercut with dreamy memories of home and ""realistic"" patrol car conversations between two cops assigned to the ""Pussy Posse."" Also walking the street are some seedy Times Square regulars, including Favor's tough main lady and the rest of his stable--none of whom warms up to the talented newcomer. Ultimately Favor turns her out when one of the cops, interceding on Stephanie's behalf, breaks a few of the pimp's favorite bones; then, too quickly, Steffie is approached by the Greenhouse, a social agency which helps her off the street and onto a bus home. Youngsters who look beyond the provocative jacket--Steffie, in low-cut gown and fur, leaning against an adult book store--will find a skewed but unmoralizing story with a much manipulated central figure.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Bradbury