FIRST A DREAM by Maureen Daly


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In a sequel to Act of Love (1986), the author of Seventeenth Summer (1942) continues the story of Retta and Dallas as they face choices about their futures. Retta's family has moved to Palm Springs, California, to run a newspaper; Dallas has followed, to work on a ranch during the summer after Retta's junior year in high school. Despite an awkward reunion, their closeness intensifies--until Dallas proposes and Retta realizes that she is less ready than he to commit herself to the future. Further, she is concerned about his plan to skip a scholarship at a Pennsylvania school in order to stay near her. Two events radically change their situation: Dallas' epiphany about his life's direction when he aids in the birth of a foal; and Aunt Blue's bequest of land in Pennsylvania to Retta, on condition that she live on it for two years. Daly still writes with poetic feeling of the anguish and joy of first love. Unfortunately, this latest is marred by awkward plotting and stiff characterization, resulting in an emotionally satisfying, but still forgettable, story.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1990
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Scholastic