FRIENDS OF THE HEART by Kate Banks

FRIENDS OF THE HEART

Amici del Cuore
Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Banks’s story has the slightly detached modern—and adult—sensibility of a New Yorker short story: The relationships of a group of vacationing friends and a loving, multigenerational family in Italy are described in both warm sensory waves and with a colder, steady current of psychological analysis. Thirteen-year-old, Rome-born Lucrezia, the keen-eyed narrator, and the half-American, half-Italian Ollie are “friends of the heart,” childhood friends who, however different, are inextricably bound. A sensual landscape of a teenage summer on an Italian beach is painted here—a mélange of Ping-Pong, flip-flops, sparkling water, slippery brown bodies, light touches, meaningful looks. The magical spell is broken before the story begins, however, as Lucrezia hints at “the summer that shouldn’t have been.” Until the bitter and shocking end, readers sit as if next to a pin-threatened balloon, cringing at every boat ride, neighborhood intrigue or character’s false move, braced for whatever horror is due to unfold. Life, death, love, friendship, superstition, self-discovery and more are examined in this sometimes belabored, sometimes joyful, ultimately tragic story. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 2005
ISBN: 0-374-32455-7
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2005




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