SYCAMORE YEAR by Mildred Lee


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Sycamore is the small Southern town (very small and very Southern, to judge by the cautious, conventional outlook and the girls' genteel old fashionedness) where Wren Fairchild moves at thirteen when her principal father changes high schools, where she first gets her period in an episode described with unseemly reticence, and above all where she makes friends with fatherless, hardworking Anna of the beautiful voice and great singing future. Then poor Anna becomes pregnant by a no-good out-of-towner and Wren (who has no interest in boys) goes nearly bananas from sharing her terrible secret, but at last Wren's parents and then Anna's mother find out -- demonstrating their love and support and arranging for Anna to go to ""a place for such girls"" until it's over. It's ali very serious, told in the first person by Wren, who wants to write, in a style (the nice old oaks ""push their roots up naked and unashamed"") that one suspects the author considers impressive writing, full of sappy declarations of affection (especially between Wren and her sister) but lacking in the particulars of how Wren and Anna become friends or what makes up the ""lot of serious talk sprinkled with enough foolishness and laughter"" that fills the early, innocent days of their relationship.

Pub Date: Aug. 19th, 1974
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard