WATCH OUT FOR THE MULES by Kaye Starbird

WATCH OUT FOR THE MULES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The mules have been replaced by the workhouse whirly birds and Army life will never be quite the same as it was in these deft ""fictionalized reminiscences"" about the come-uppances of an Army Brat. Actually narrator Carol adopted the perfect child syndrome in her bid for attention, in contrast to brother Andrew with his constant catch phrases and cantankerous manner and little sister Sarah with her wise eyes and loud mouth. Carol was too young to realize that they were all ""operating on the same side of the street."" They managed a remarkably independent life thanks to an absent-minded, rather vague, mother who tended not to notice small details like big black eyes and a befuddled father who found that the regimented routine of the military was virtually inapplicable when it came to handling three bright and very individual children. In their cross-country escapades they deal with some unusual types like Ethel, squatter's daughter who introduces Carol to people like Dulcie, the ""Loose Lady,"" Asa, the hermit etc. One new school brings Hadley, tormentor with a capital T, but the children have a sturdy Maine heritage on one grandparent's side and on the Andrews' side they pick up some of the qualities that made Grandpa a hard-drinking Calvalryman and Grandma a southern ""Professional Lady."" They cope. It was a scrappy, happy childhood merrily recreated here and you won't have to be recruited into enjoying it.

Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 1967
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World