BOY WITHOUT A NAME by Penelope Lively


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The boy without a name--somehow it has been mislaid at the foundling home--acquires, on returning to the village of his birth, both a given one, Thomas (it's given by the priest who finds him wandering in the cemetery) and, later, a last name--Mason--when he becomes apprenticed to a stone worker and awakened to the possibilities of his craft. The last page even has Thomas joining the other village boys in play--but the transformation from speechless outcast to proud craftsman has been too swift and fortuitous, and Thomas' attraction to carved gravestones and buildings, even before meeting the masons, too pat to justify Lively's solemn, self revering prose. It's all for effect, and Dalton's prim, effeminate illustrations further weaken the effect.

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 1975
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Parnassus Press