SOUL DADDY by Jacqueline Roy

SOUL DADDY

Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Identical twins Hannah and Rosie, 15, are products of their white mother Isabel's long-ago marriage to a black musician, Joe Delaney. Now Joe returns to their fairly orderly London fold with their beautiful half-sister Nicola and a wish to make his ``nest'' whole once again. Hannah, already shackled with the blessing and curse of Rosie's dependence on her, resists change, fearing that Joe's promises are meant to be broken. But while Rosie makes surprising adjustments of her own, Hannah comes to trust the new shape of her family, including an extended list of relatives who've got much to teach her about her heritage. First-novelist Roy has a gift for making common situations uncommon with some unique twists: a previous illness that made Rosie ``slow'' complicates the twin issue; Joe's stardom makes Hannah's groping acceptance of him particularly bittersweet; Nicola, whose own deceased mother was black, provides an intriguingly aware (albeit younger, and a bit too good to be true) role model as Hannah begins to explore issues of race. There are several parallels here, in both theme and plot, with Pullman's novel (above); Pullman weaves a far tighter and more compelling story, yet Roy's book is full of grace, delicately unfolding expectations, and a deep affection for the family that inhabits it. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-15-277193-X
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1992