LISA, BRIGHT AND DARK by John Neufeld

LISA, BRIGHT AND DARK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Enter Lisa, going crazy. But, despite her overt pleas for help, the signal act of poking holes in herself with a pin, and her increasingly erratic behavior, her parents, two thoroughly selfish phonies, refuse to take the sixteen-year-old seriously. Neither will school psychologist Mr. Bernstein stick his neck out, ""Adults are in many ways simply chicken,"" observes narrator Betsy, relating how she and managing Mary Nell and aloof Elizabeth try to textbook-diagnose, then just cushion, Lisa's violent ups and downs. From the outset both glib and ingenuous, this becomes the prototypical girls' story: Lisa's quandary could be any crisis, how will Lisa get help could be translated into how will the school play be saved. Or, perhaps, how will the Prince find Cinderella. With Betsy's father as witness, Lisa walks through a glass door; while she's hospitalized, Elizabeth summons ""absolutely technicolor"" psychiatrist Neil Donovan (who'd been her doctor: ""There! It was out!""). After much negotiating, the good(looking) doctor arrives at Lisa's bedside, unloosing a salubrious torrent of tears. The girls celebrate and, before Lisa leaves for treatment, they're assured she'll be well enough to come home for a Christmas visit. Which might be the most precarious prognostication of any year; I Never Promised You a Rose Garden is far wiser.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1969
ISBN: 087599153X
Publisher: S. G. Phillips--dist. by Hill & Wang