LILY AND THE LOST BOY by Paula Fox
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LILY AND THE LOST BOY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

While living on the Greek island of Thasos, Lily Corey (11) and her brother Paul (14) become acquainted with Jack Hemmings, another American boy whose mysterious life fascinates Paul. Greece itself is Fox's protagonist, its roots in the past nourishing the present, its antiquities, vegetation, and people pulsing with vitality. Against this, she projects a rather simple story. The friendship Lily and Paul have enjoyed during their father's remote sabbatical is interrupted by the appearance of Jack, who persistently tests the bounds of the acceptable with his behavior: midnight disruption of the chairs at the old woman's restaurant on the beach; riding younger boys on his bicycle handlebars. Lily resents Paul having a friend who seems to replace her, yet she grows increasingly concerned about Jack. His father leaves him to fend for himself; perhaps Jack sleeps in odd corners, unfed. On one occasion, Lily secretly leaves him food; after the stunning tragedy at the end, when little Christos falls while riding with Jack and is killed, it is Lily who, out of compassion both for Jack and for Christos' bereaved parents, finds Jack and reassures him. Yet he is truly a lost boy; his own mother sends his father support on condition that they both stay away. As the Coreys leave the island, the whole village gives them a generous, open-hearted send-off; the Hemmings' departure is marked only by the Corey children, and Jack's pride forces him to reject Paul's last affectionate gesture. A quiet, beautifully crafted story; like several of Fox's fine books, it will appeal most to a few special readers.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1987
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Orchard/Watts