GATEWAY by Lee Robinson


Age Range: 12 - 15
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 In a debut novel lit by animated, engaging characters, a spirited teenager navigates her way through a bitter custody fight. Mac's wish is to have her old, settled life back; instead, she is tossed back and forth between her passive father and obsessive, career-driven mother. Meanwhile, she spills her feelings to readers, her therapist, and to Henrietta Porter LePage Middleton, a huge-hearted, seventysomething, court-appointed guardian with whom readers will, as Mac does, instantly fall in love. Self- possessed for 13, Mac sees her parents and their expensive lawyers using her as a game piece, so she ``hires'' a lawyer of her own: Drayton Guerard, a rumpled, savvy male counterpart to Henrietta with a streak of idealism. With Henrietta's death, Drayton steps in decisively, arranging with the court to have Mac stay put while her parents learn to shuttle back and forth on alternate weeks. Readers will find this turnabout fitting and take heart from the reminder that they have rights, too. Robinson sketches characters and relationships with wonderful deftness, delivering Mac's thoughts in a calm but not distant tone; the story is set in Charleston and evokes that town's unhurried grace. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-395-72772-3
Page count: 170pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1995