THE HOUSE ON THE HILL by Mildred Masters


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If only there were someone her age. . . ."" This low-keyed, uneventful story begins with ten-year-old Jenny's best friend moving away. Bored and lonely, Jenny spends the early summer weeks secretly hanging out in a big, old, newly-vacated house, imagining herself living there as part of a large, happy family. (In reality, Jenny lives with her working mother in a small apartment. Her irresponsible father left them years earlier, and her older sister is away at college.) In the end, Jenny is caught in the house by the new, large, happy family moving in--as it turns out, they're a welcoming, open family with a girl her age. Meanwhile, with Jenny between friends, we get a sure sense of the homey small town and its inhabitants, and we learn gradually about Jenny's mother, who was hospitalized for depression after her husband left and now works for a strict, stingy shop owner because she's too timid or listless to do better. The highlight of Jenny's summer is a week in Indianapolis with her father and his second wife--their first visit since he left. Not much happens there either, but Jenny is glad she went and hopes to return next summer. And, after some prodding, Jenny's mother also takes a step out, signing up for career courses with a view toward moving up to an office job. Masters' fidelity to the pokey small-town pace may lose some readers, but those willing to go with it will find the setting easy to visualize and Jenny easy to like.

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 1982
Publisher: Greenwillow