THE TIGER ORCHARD by Joyce Sweeney


Age Range: 12 & up
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 Zachary believes his father has been dead since he was five; like younger brother Joshua, he recognizes that his mother has done an admirable job of raising them. Then an art class assignment and sessions with his psychologist bring him close to the source of nightmares he's been having. Suddenly, Zack recalls events of 13 years ago and learns that his father's ``death'' (i.e., disappearance from their lives) was part of a bizarre divorce settlement. He and his father, a moderately successful painter, happily reunite while Zack takes the first steps toward independence from his domineering mother. It's disappointing when both Joshua and his mother blot out the truth with little more than angry shrugs, but Sweeney handles the melodrama with ease, creating characters and emotions worthy of the explosive passions that resulted in Zack's dilemma. Not all is tidily resolved, nor should it be; most memorable is a scene when a five-year-old Zack and his father made an aborted attempt to run away from home. A study in paternal love and good intentions gone awry, in a story of YA angst transcended. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-385-30841-8
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1993


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