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A ROOM ON LORELEI STREET by Mary E. Pearson

A ROOM ON LORELEI STREET

By Mary E. Pearson

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8050-7667-0
Publisher: Henry Holt

Headstrong 17-year-old Zoe longs to escape the smothering helplessness of her alcoholic mother. After school, she works nights in a local diner to make ends meet, and then spends the rest of her night cleaning up whatever daily mess—physical, emotional or financial—her mom creates. But each night on her way home, she allows herself 15 minutes of solitary, peaceful diversion in the guise of an empty, warmly lit window on Lorelei Street—a window that symbolizes her desire for freedom and piece of mind. The symbol becomes reality when a rental sign appears in front of the house. Zoe scrounges to find both the rent money and courage to abandon her mother, and she moves into the room, only to discover that making it on her own in the adult world is much more complicated than she could have ever expected. Out of Zoe’s troubled scrutiny, Pearson sophisticatedly crafts a quietly cramped, small-town Texas community. All literary elements—characters, setting, mis-en-scene—seamlessly and poetically coalesce into her ephemerally hot and cold teenage persona whose tough outer shell masks enough skeletons in the closet to eat her alive. (Fiction. YA)