YOURS, BRETT by Gertrude Samuels


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Brett is a throwaway kid, product of the broken marriage of an alcoholic, drugaddicted mother who can't care for her and a father who won't. Since the age of four, she has been shuttled between N.Y.C. foster homes and institutions, never allowed to feel at home or develop close ties; her only Solace is writing poetry. Finally, at 14, her California grandparents take her in; three years later, she seeks out and finds a kindred spirit in her half-brother and even sees her father, but ultimately rejects him. This well-intentioned narrative (described as a ""documentary novel"") is an odd mix of harsh truths, unanswered questions, and some unfortunate sugar-coating. The plight of throwaway kids, their treatment in juvenile courts, and their rootlessness are convincingly portrayed (though the dialogue is often old-fashioned and hackneyed), but BreWs particular situation seems artificially set up as a convenience to the plot. The unwillingness of her father and stepmother to see her, even after she becomes class valedictorian, is never believably explained, nor is the court's willingness to honor BreWs wish to stay in New York near her loser of a mother, rather than go to her perfect grandparents. Timely, but flawed.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1988
ISBN: 0595008062
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Lodestar/Dutton