THE SURPRISE PARTY COMPLEX by Ramona Stewart

THE SURPRISE PARTY COMPLEX

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An appealing small book, with no whimsy and just a stray wisp of sentiment, spends a summer with fifteen year old Pauline who, after a motherless and migratory childhood, has only one complex-- her recurrent wishful dream of a surprise party with a cake and candles and everyone waiting for her. Otherwise Pauline seems to have weathered the worst of backgrounds with little psychic devastation. Less so her other two friends at the Pyrenees, a cheap apartment house in Hollywood where her father, O.K., hopes to find new contacts. He sells mines, oil wells. They are Chris, the landlady's daughter (she has an absentee mother and no father) and Jamie Carlisle (Mrs. Carlisle is a retired madam); Chris is often unpredictably moody and Jamie has expensive, exotic tastes he can easily indulge- he's a kleptomaniac. During the time here the youngsters are pretty much on their own and Pauline, who is the steadiest, keeps a weather eye on her father as well as Jamie. Still she is unable to prevent the tragedy with which the story closes..... Perhaps not quite as much of a book as the earlier The Story but there are moments.

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 1962
Publisher: Morrow