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Though to Brenda Belle Blossom's mother he is just ""that boy living down there with Charlie, tying those beer cans to the Christmas tree,"" Adam is really the son of a Kissinger-like man-about-the-world who hops from Paris to Peking and is seen with the President on TV and magazine covers. Expelled from Choate, Adam has taken his dead mother's name and come to live with her father, a drinking veterinarian without a practice, who is known in town as Charlie, and as ""Chuck from Vermont"" on Late Night Larry's radio show which he calls from time to time with interesting bits of food lore. Adam and Blossom meet in the drug store where she (secretly afraid that she is turning into a boy) is buying Hairgo for her upper lip; soon they are going steady, artificially calling each other ""darling"" at her request, and dedicated to helping other misfits achieve Nothing Power. By the time Adam's true name comes out and he's expelled once more, both their relationship and their scheme have flopped, but meanwhile they've stumbled across an old scandal involving Adam's mother, and the town of Storm has been host to both Billy Kaye Case, an aging film star and Adam's one-time stepmother, and starlet Electra Lindgren (or Electric Socket), who has been jilted by Adam's father and tries to kill herself at Charlie's. The wide open ending, when Brenda (dressed as Sir Walter Raleigh) is caught by the principal impersonating Adam on a costume party ""date"" with popular Christine Cutler, nearly obliterates the more serious outcome -- Adam's beginning to sort out his own identity and his father's fame and Brenda's new confidence, new bird-watching boyfriend, and independence from her mother's view of femininity. But the psychological validity remains under all the increasingly farfetched frenzy; Adam's reluctant involvements do bring considerable excitement to Storm, Vermont; and Brenda Belle has a charm of her own in addition to some of Dinky Hocker's sassy, hard-surface humor.

Pub Date: March 6th, 1974
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Harper & Row