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LUCAS by Kevin Brooks


A Story of Love and Hate

by Kevin Brooks

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-439-45698-3
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic

In this bleak, ambitious story, tragedy ensues following the arrival on an English island of a wandering stranger named Lucas. Narrator Caitlin, 15, is attracted to Lucas, who camps out nearby, and she senses a mystical quality in him that is not explained, but must simply be accepted by the reader. As summer progresses, episodes pile up slowly and the air is charged with tension. Jamie, a rich teenager, nearly rapes Caitlin, then threatens Lucas and joins those falsely accusing him of a crime. While motivations aren’t always clear, the ugly mood on the island is unmistakable and promises to end in violence, with a few surprising plot twists along the way. One can read this in allegorical terms, with the worst of modern life represented by Jamie and his mindless attacks on Lucas, who is aligned with nature. Readers who appreciate interesting symbolism and fine descriptive writing, and who like to sink into a long mood piece, will find this hard to put down. Admirers of Martyn Pig, however, will not find the same clever plot and dark humor. (Fiction. YA)