THE SARA SUMMER by Mary Downing Hahn

THE SARA SUMMER

KIRKUS REVIEW

Emily Sherwood is twelve, tormented by her snide schoolmates for being tall, treated like an infant by her overbearing parents, and maybe a little too accommodating to her younger brother. Newcomer Sara Slater (from New York!) is twelve, an inch taller, and not put upon by anybody: she terrorizes her younger sister, in fact; tells her parents where to get off; and when the local kids start giving her the Emily-treatment, gives them back more than they bargained for--including the hurtful things she's overheard them say about one another. All this, however overdrawn, has grab: Hahn writes a sharp-edged, mean-spirited, dirty-mouthed, Seventies-suburban story that will be read to the end. . . if only, indeed, to see where natural-follower Emily will draw the line. And when she does--at Sara's attempt to imprison little sister "Hairball" in a foul, infested hut--it's not unequivocal; Sara never exactly repents, one could say she relents--and in disclosing to Emily her own vulnerability (especially her gratitude for Emily's loyalty-under-pressure), secures her friendship forever. But in avoiding the usual turnabout (which would have entailed exposing Sara as an unstable, somehow-victimized child), Hahn has failed to clarify just what does all her--or to explain why her parents, however preoccupied, never intercede. And the restrained resolution is not matched by the characterization of the supporting cast--horrors one and all.
Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1980
ISBN: 0380723549
Page count: 135pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1980




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