THE UNFRIGHTENED DARK by Isabelle Holland

THE UNFRIGHTENED DARK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jocelyn, 16, has been blind since the car accident that killed her parents four years ago. Now she has a guide dog, Brace, who suddenly seems to be the object of attention of people whose voices Joss doesn't recognize--people who intimate that Brace is a slave, about to be liberated. When pet animals around town begin to disappear, she enlists her best friends' aid in discovering the identity of the harassers. Eventually, Brace is dognapped; the aunt in whom Joss was reluctant to confide is drawn into the chase; many of the animals, including Brace, are reunited with their owners; and Joss' friend Pip admits that he's in love with her. Holland does a fine job of explicating the life of a blind girl; Joss' ability to intuit and process information--as well as her perceptions about people and their attitudes toward her disability--is convincingly drawn. All the major characters and many of the minor ones are interesting enough to draw readers willingly into the action. But, unfortunately, the story is rushed to an unsatisfying conclusion. What was this quasi-religious group that stole the animals? Is the pianist at the house where the animals were hidden really a student of Joss' piano teacher? Does the piano teacher recover his dog? The novel begins so well that the overhasty conclusion is a frustrating disaappointment.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1990
Page count: 121pp
Publisher: Little, Brown