RACHEL CHANCE by Jean Thesman


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The author of the well-received The Last April Dancers (1987) presents a strong heroine in a suspenseful adventure set in the Pacific Northwest. In 1940, Rachel, 15, lives with her mother and her two-year-old half-brother, Ryder, on her grandfather's farm near a small town north of Seattle. Her family's independent life-style--specifically, the fact that both her brother and her cousin are illegitimate-does not endear them to local authority figures, especially Pastor Woodie. When Ryder is kidnapped, Rachel is certain that a revival group associated with the pastor is responsible. Then, after her mother suffers an emotional collapse, Rachel sets off on a quest to rescue Ryder with her grandfather, neighbor Druid Annie, and close friend Hank. Rachel tells her story in poetically earthy language that is the novel's greatest strength. But Thesman makes little use of her setting; characters are either eccentric heroes or adversaries without redeeming qualities; and the plot here is somewhat sensationalized.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1990
ISBN: 0395509343
Page count: 175pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin