THE GIRL IN THE BOX by Ouida Sebestyen
Kirkus Star


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Deliberately evoking Cormier's I Am the Cheese in a portrait of a teen-ager trapped by mysterious circumstances--which are only partly revealed in a nonsequential narrative--Sebestyen (Far from Home) has written an extraordinary thriller. Jackie is confined in a lightless concrete box where she was thrust by an unknown man who left her with food, water, and the typewriter she happened to be carrying. In the letters she touch-types to the police, her parents, her English teacher, and her friends Zach and April, she gradually reveals herself: a well-loved child of parents in modest circumstances, a gifted writer but an indifferent student, April's loyal friend since childhood--devastated to discover that April and new friend Zach have for months had a private relationship beyond their close trio, and have kept it from her. And--though Jackie is never set physically free in these pages; the assailant remains a mystery; and the conclusion may be read as a tragedy--Sebestyen's stunningly affirmative denouement should make a provocative comparison to Cormier's book for years to come. Like Anne Frank, Jacklyn McGee's courage and humanity shine through her self-revelation. A story that's impossible to put down.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1988
Page count: 165pp
Publisher: Joy Street/Little, Brown