A DANCE FOR THREE by Louise Plummer


Age Range: 13 - 15
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From Plummer (The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman, 1995, etc.), an unusually complex tale of teenage pregnancy, in which the prospects for a happy ending are tempered by the difficulty of the available choices. Hannah Ziebarth, 15 and pregnant, lives in Salt Lake City, where her Mormon bishop was her deceased father’s best friend. The bishop looks after the family, but remotely, and doesn’t see that Hannah’s gentle mother hasn’t left the house since her husband died, hasn’t made a phone call, hasn’t even made a sandwich. Hannah, beset with her loss and her mother’s withdrawal, as well as overwhelmed by the myriad household tasks that have come with that withdrawal, falls for the smooth moves of Milo, who is rich, handsome, and popular. When she tells him she’s pregnant he hits her; never really stable, Hannah spirals out of control and wakes up in a hospital for troubled teens. Hannah’s perspective as she makes her voyage through therapy—and through pregnancy—alternates with commentary from her best friend, Trilby, and Milo’s put-upon younger brother, Roman, who is especially amusing in his take on his parents’ hero-worship of their oldest son. While the plot is wrapped up a bit too neatly, Hannah is a rich and rewarding presence; her aching losses nearly throb on the page. Plummer is not afraid to say that it is possible to overcome life’s demons, but it’s hard; that people can change, but not all do; that giving up a baby hurts. Sobering and definitely a page-turner. (Fiction. 13-15)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-385-32511-8
Page count: 230pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1999