COME SPRING by Kathryn Galbraith


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Come p. 50, we know that Reenie Broden wishes devoutly that her father's latest job will click so that the family can settle down (a sentiment that her mother shares); and we know that she longs for a dog (an unnecessary inconvenience, thinks her mother). Galbraith doesn't actually link up Reenie's two preoccupations, she just lets us see a possible connection--which is typical of her avoidance of formula plotting. But in the virtual absence of character conflict or pointed incident, her story has little sense of plot altogether. After the long lead-in, a dog does turn up--a pesky, affectionate creature that (somewhat unrealistically in that small town) doesn't seem to belong to anyone. And, significantly, Reenie's mother takes a job. But what seems to be Reenie's big, immediate problem--the unfriendliess of the class snob--dissolves in Mrs. Broden's sensible you're-making-too-much-of-it and Reenie's discovery, at a dud Halloween party, that she is: the fearsome Janice is all front. Then, somewhat abruptly, Mrs. B. opposes her husband's plans for still another pie-in-the-sky move, meanwhile reassuring Reenie that the dog won't be left behind if they do. It's all rather blurry and in that respect lifelike, but also less than compelling as fiction--though in the role Galbraith gives a little neighborhood boy, in her treatment of Reenie and her two older brothers (no ages are given), she shows an appreciative understanding of kids.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1979
Publisher: Atheneum (Margaret K. McElderry)