PLAYING BOTTICELLI by Liza Nelson

PLAYING BOTTICELLI

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A rambling and good-natured debut novel that follows a young woman as she takes to the road in search of the father she never knew. Adolescence is a tough time for just about everybody, but when your mother is an ex—flower child who conceived you on a commune, you—re going to suffer an extra complex or two. That’s pretty much the shape of things for Dylan Blue. Dylan’s mother Godiva (nÇe Judy Blitch) grew up under relatively normal conditions in suburban Connecticut during the baby boom, then went to the University of Michigan in the mid-1960s and dropped out like everybody else. She changed her name, grew her hair long, soused herself with drugs, and went to bed with a succession of men she—d rather not think about in the light of day. One of them, a radical named Hank, managed to get her pregnant, and Godiva took the baby and moved south with her, using $20,000 inherited from her father to buy a little house just outside the backwoods Florida town of Esmerelda. There, she set up a studio and became a sculptor, earning her keep as a school janitor. It’s a fairly idyllic childhood for Dylan, who is occasionally embarrassed by her mother’s parading about in the nude, but otherwise happy and well-adjusted—until she comes across a —Wanted— poster with her father’s picture on it. It seems that Hank was involved in a Weathermen bombing around the time Dylan was born, and has been living underground ever since. Godiva is glad to have him as far away as possible, but Dylan is soon as obsessed as any 16-year-old can be with finding him out. Her mother’s daughter to the core, Dylan cashes a savings bond her grandma had given her, jots down a few leads, and hits the road to track down Hank. But Hank doesn—t want to be found. Can a daughter’s love defeat history? Sharp, likable, and nicely paceded: Nelson writes with a light touch and a sharp eye.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-399-14601-6
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1999




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