Kirkus Star


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Jennie has taken up astrology in a big way which can be something of a bore, especially to those of us (older) readers who don't know Moon Children from Scorpios. On the other hand, with sister Chloris still a very troubled kid (see Chloris and the Creeps, 1973) Jennie needs all the help she can get. Chloris has not only refused to accept her gentle, artist stepfather Fidel Mancha, she now claims to be communicating nightly with her suicided Daddy. Daddy's messages are disquieting even to skeptical Jenny; the divorce they predict becomes successively closer with the breakup of friend Jenny's parents, Mom's nervous behavior, and her increasingly obvious interest in another man. This sequel leans heavily on a few devices: Jennie's use of the daily paper's astrology column as a crutch; a frazzled teacher who functions as a stand-up comedian on the subject of marital discord; even Fidel's sometimes mushy philosophizing. And it takes a long time to recap Chloris' old problems. Nevertheless, Chloris continues to be a startlingly truthful portrait of a psychologically mixed-up girl, grimly determined to revenge the wounds of her mother's divorce and her father's suicide by breaking up this second marriage. And what we learn here about Daddy's death and Mom's continued immaturity adds a new, strengthening di-mension. Jenny herself continues to be loyal to Chloris yet uncompromising in her struggle to disassociate herself from Chloris' delusions. The loss of Fidel's reassuring presence seems cruel but it's strictly logical. Platt's hard-edged California moderns may not be the most likable people, but one can't resist getting involved. And this unhappy episode is sure to create anxious demand for still more news of Chloris.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1975
Page count: 218pp
Publisher: Bradbury