Age Range: 11 - 13
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 Dad left after the divorce ``a bunch of years ago,'' and Alex and his twin siblings haven't seen him since. Now he has suddenly died, after arranging to have his ashes sent to his mother. Summoned, Alex's mother and the three kids join Granny in trying to decide whether the ashes should be interred in the family plot or one of Dad's favorite spots, or scattered on the nearby beach by the Gulf of Mexico. The dialogue and family interaction here are skillfully written, but the story is weighed down by Alex's philosophical ruminations (paralleled in the book he's reading, also entitled Contrary Imaginations), whose complexity is at odds with this book's reading level. The family members are pungently characterized, but too little of their history is revealed to give their task any real psychological dimension; the result is to trivialize it and also, ironically, to undermine Callen's attempt to present his topic with humor.~(Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 26th, 1991
ISBN: 0-688-09961-0
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1991