THE CATALOGUE OF THE UNIVERSE by Margaret Mahy
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THE CATALOGUE OF THE UNIVERSE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Malay, who has twice won the Carnegie Medal for her supernatural stories (The Haunting and The Changeover), has now written a brilliant romance. More than just a romance, though, this is a haunting tale of two unusual teen-agers coming to terms with their feelings of truth, and of the fine line between lies and fairy tales. Angela May, the beautiful, illegitimate daughter of Dido May, has always asked questions about her real father. And her mother has told her stories about the wealthy man she loved but couldn't marry. As a child, Angela accepted the stories. As a young woman, she wants to know more and begins investigating. She makes Tycho Potter, her best friend but not boyfriend, an unwilling confidante as she nears the time to confront Roland Chase with her identity. She had expected that the confrontation might be unpleasant; she had not expected to learn that Dido's stories were untrue. The truth enrages her, and prompts her to do something "degrading." However, it also allows her to see that homely, bookish Tycho is the one she has loved all along; she and Tycho can at last be honest about their feelings. Teens will be moved by the emotional impact of the story, and challenged by the many ideas set forth by Tycho and Angels, who are as fascinated by philosophy and astronomy as they are by each other. The Catalogue of the Universe (the title is taken from the title of a book Angels once gave Tycho) is not for the casual reader. It is slow-going in some places, and heavy-going in others, but the journey through Angela and Tycho's minds and feelings is well worth the effort.
Pub Date: March 1st, 1986
ISBN: 068985353X
Page count: 196pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1986




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