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by Kit Pearson

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: June 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-670-84097-1
Publisher: Viking

 The second in a trilogy (The Sky Is Falling, 1990)--about two English children sent to live in Canada during WW II--takes Norah (now 13) and little brother Gavin for a summer at the large lakeside establishment of the Drummond family, whose several generations come there also to join Norah's hostess, wealthy old Mrs. Ogilvie. The family's lifestyle (plus Pearson's depiction of it) is leisurely--boating, games, etc. Of the nine cousins in the youngest generation, the one of greatest interest to Norah is Andrew, 19, a would-be actor whose family is pushing him into engineering school or the army (as an officer, of course; class is taken for granted). Norah develops a fervent crush on Andrew, a kind boy who (after he notices) preserves his friendly demeanor with admirable tact; he even confides his horror of killing to Norah alone, so that his later decision to join up comes as a shock to her (cf. Hahn's Stepping on the Cracks, 1991, which probes much deeper into this issue). Pearson writes with restraint--the adults never do find out about the party the kids throw when they spend a night away; unmarried Aunt Mary decides not to wed the nice man she's been meeting secretly all summer--yet the undramatic outcomes are realistic; meanwhile, Norah continues to grow and adapt, and others are lightly but credibly sketched. A period piece, at its best in evoking those strangely peaceful days. (Fiction. 10-14)