FOOTPRINTS AT THE WINDOW by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


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In the two earlier volumes of Naylor's York Trilogy, American teenager Dan Roberts becomes involved with a gypsy family he meets while visiting in York, England, and later with different incarnations of that same family as tribespeople in Roman England and, back home, as migrant gypsies near his Grandmother's farm on the Susquehanna. Some of the same figures turn up among his grandmother's ancestors and, in this volume, Dan is reunited with another version of the family back in York during the bubonic plague. Dan's felt need to rescue the daughter of the family persists through all these encounters, as does a Roman coin that keeps changing hands with varying implications. Here, in his time-trip to York, Dan finally accomplishes his mission by obtaining a horse that will take the girl to a plague-free area. Once he does, the ghosts from other times stop bothering him and he is able to take a more philosophical approach to the other worry that has plagued him through all three volumes: the possibility that his father, and thus he too, might have the genes for Huntington's disease. But the connection between this worry and all the other business remains remote and arbitrary; the rescue that should climax the time-trips' action is fiat and minor, and certainly insufficient reason for all the ghostly disturbances of the usual order of things; the first part of the book consists entirely of reminders of previous visions and encounters, confusing to new readers and dramatic to none; and the end leaves you feeling that you've been jerked through a lot of mumbo-jumbo and shifting veils to no particular purpose.
Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1981
ISBN: 068984963X
Page count: 196pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1981


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