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Liz was hardly more than a child herself when her daughter Tallahassee was born; 12 years later she still thinks like a teen-ager, a bitter fact that her daughter finally accepts after her first winter away from her. After Liz's parents' death in a plane crash, she lived with her older brother, Dan, till she quarreled with his wife, Thelma, and ran away to Florida to bear an out-of-wedlock child. Tallahassee has known a series of Liz's waitressing jobs and boyfriends; now Liz abandons her, as she has them, as she did the inconvenient cat. She sends Tallahassee to Dan in conventional suburban Maryland and goes off to Hollywood with a new boyfriend who promises film contacts. Sure she'll be sent for any day, Tallahassee skimps on school assignments and gets into outright war with Aunt Thelma. But she does learn to love Uncle Dan, make friends with the girl next door, and find an unexpected paternal grandmother. Hahn tells her story with enough skill to rivet attention; Tallahassee is a complex, spunky, likable character. Others are less completely drawn, insufficiently believable to support the plot. Thelma's unmitigated rancor toward Liz's daughter is (unfortunately) plausible, but her sudden turnaround after Tallahassee's abortive attempt to run away is not. And if Dan is as nice as his remarks to Tallahassee imply, why is he so long oblivious to his wife's persecution of her? When Liz turns up briefly with still another boyfriend, we know Tallahassee already has more maturity than Liz and will make a place for herself in her new home. Despite its flaws, a page-turner with a well-drawn protagonist.
Pub Date: March 23rd, 1987
ISBN: 0618752463
Page count: 194pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1987


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