NOBODY'S FAULT by Patricia Hermes


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This story about an older brother's death begins with brother and sister fooling around, teasing, fighting, and being friends in a normal way. Monse (short for Monster, though his parents call him Matthew) also helps Emily, a good and serious player, with her baseball, in preparation for an upcoming allstar game. Thus when Emily finds Monse run over by the lawnmower and covered with blood, readers have enough of a feel for their relationship to care with her. The rest of the story is more predictable, less affecting, but still holds up. Emily denies Monse's death and at the same time blames herself for the accident. (She'd been upstairs putting a dead snake in his bed when it happened and so wouldn't have heard if he'd called for help.) She takes to her bed, throws up when roused, but finally (and in time for the allstar game) comes to accept the situation thanks to several sessions with a patient psychiatrist. All this is more than a little thin but it has a truer ring than most such fictionalized cases.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1982
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich