MIRIAM'S WELL by Lois Ruby

MIRIAM'S WELL

Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Faith and science clash in a miraculous recovery from bone cancer. Glib Adam, Jewish and full of easy confidence, is paired for a poetry assignment with serious-minded Miriam, member of a Christian sect that believes in faith healing. When Miriam is afflicted with a painful tumor, she's hospitalized against her will. The court allows medical treatment to begin while Adam's lawyer-father tries to prove the violation of Miriam's First Amendment rights, but--thanks to therapy or prayer--Miriam is healed before the case can be argued. Meanwhile, she and Adam have fallen in love, but neither can, or wishes to, convert the other. In Miriam's first-person narration (alternating with Adam's), Ruby credibly conveys the simple power of the girl's beliefs. She establishes both personalities so well that their polarized positions have an intimately human scale: the two characters are not idealogues, but likable, articulate teenagers groping toward tolerance and understanding even as life-and-death issues transform them. Though the ``miracle'' ending may chafe, it's achieved with such precision that it smooths the way to a sadly appropriate close. An unusual book that roots an intense debate in terms that'll have readers cheering for both sides. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-590-44937-0
Page count: 264pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993




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