AFTER THE DANCING DAYS by Margaret I. Rostkowski


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A fine story of growing up and of the many ways of healing, set at the end of WW I. Annie Metcalf, almost 14, goes to meet her father, a doctor bringing wounded soldiers on a troop train to a hospital near Kansas City. Annie is appalled--and haunted--by the profound disfigurement of some. The reunion of the family is not as joyful as Annie had imagined it would be, either: Father announces that he will be going to the hospital to care for the wounded; and Paul, Mother's brother, will not be coming home at all. Annie then becomes involved in going to the hospital, eventually to visit with Andrew, whose face has been badly disfigured by bums from mustard gas. When Mother sees Andrew, she is so distressed that she forbids Annie to go there again. But Annie disobeys: she takes over reading to a blind patient, and her friendship with Andrew speeds his psychological recovery; she also enlists his help in finding out why Uncle Paul did not receive a Purple Heart as Andrew has. Now Annie must face Mother with upsetting news of her beloved brother. But Annie's conviction helps her mother grow, too, so that she is able to go beyond Andrew's disfigurement and accept him for himself. A book written out of deep feeling for the time and its problems, with a keen awareness that the same issues are alive today.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1986
ISBN: 0064402487
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Harper & Row