MOUNTAIN POSE by Nancy Hope Wilson


Age Range: 10 - 13
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The school year begins tenuously as 12-year-old Ellie Dunklee continues to grieve for her mother who died seven years ago and as her art-professor father seeks tenure. No one knows what to expect when Ellie’s grandmother, Aurelia, dies suddenly and bequeaths her Vermont farm and a suitcase full of diaries to Ellie. Aurelia was regarded as a heartless woman, even disowned by her children, so the family cannot help but wonder what diabolical plan is behind Aurelia’s gift to Ellie, but she delves into the diaries for the answer. They reveal a long history of abuse toward women and young children, inherited by each generation, including Aurelia. After learning the truth, the farm, once a place of trepidation for Ellie, becomes a symbol of peace and a setting to finally put the past to rest. This novel, like many of Wilson’s others (Flapjack Waltzes, 1998, etc.), tackles family hardships and how they’re overcome. The author astutely knows how to engage readers’ empathy, and her use of diaries written in secret codes (which she explains in the author’s note) will pique readers’ interest. Sympathetic characters and sensitive storytelling will show readers that, if understood and forgiven, family cycles of abuse can be stopped. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: April 26th, 2001
ISBN: 0-374-35078-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2001


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