ASH by Lisa Rowe Fraustino

ASH

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

 How does a family handle mental illness when it appears in their midst? The Libbys are just a regular family, running a motel in Maine, working part time at the blueberry cannery, and attending--but not taking too seriously--the evangelical church up the road. Ash, the oldest son, is the family star. A gifted musician, he plays in a country band, makes straight A's, and bests the local reigning cribbage champion. He's a great big brother to Wes, who narrates. But Ash changes. He drinks and experiments with drugs, falls in with a punk crowd, and starts playing ear-splitting music, all of which could be attributed to normal adolescence except that he also starts hearing voices and exhibiting bizarre behavior. Watching his idolized older brother fall apart is agony for Wes, who begins a private journal to his brother in an effort to sort out his feelings. This novel is the result, written in an authentic adolescent voice, including poor grammar, b&w cartoon illustrations, and a wry, occasionally immature, sense of humor. Fraustino (Grass & Sky, 1994) has written a believable portrait of a family in crisis. The characters are multi- dimensional, the setting vividly real. A valuable look at adolescent schizophrenia. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-531-06889-7
Page count: 171pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1995




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