HOW IT HAPPENED IN PEACH HILL by Marthe Jocelyn

HOW IT HAPPENED IN PEACH HILL

Age Range: 11 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1924, Annie and her mother, an elegant but fraudulent clairvoyant, move among upstate New York towns, profiting tidily by telling seekers what they want to hear. Annie assists by eavesdropping in town and reporting crucial details about clients to Mama. Newly ensconced in Peach Hill, Mama has Annie assume life as an “idiot,” with roving eye and drooling mouth, the better to avoid detection. Clever Annie chafes under this odious burden, and when truant officer Mrs. Newman deposits her in first grade, she orchestrates a “cure” for herself, one-upping the furious Mama. Jocelyn seamlessly weds Annie’s lively narration with plenty of well-constructed dialogue, as Annie struggles between her practiced role as shill and newly beckoning experiences: tenth grade, friendships and magnetic classmate Sammy. Even secondary characters emerge whole, with housegirl Peg mothering Annie far more lovingly than Mama, suspicious Mrs. Newman surreptitiously proffering aid and ostensibly wealthy Mr. Poole meeting his match in lovely, scheming “Madame Caterina.” The strife of Helen, abused daughter of a more dangerous charlatan, contrasts soberingly with Annie’s troubles. Colorful and engrossing. (Fiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: March 13th, 2007
ISBN: 0-375-83701-9
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2007




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