NORMA JEAN THE TERMITE QUEEN by Sheila Ballantyne
Kirkus Star

NORMA JEAN THE TERMITE QUEEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I'm Norma Jean. I scrub the floors."" You'll like her anyway even if site's a late bloomer. Shula and Erica and Gloria are probably wearing long-line bras by now. But bloom she does under the most unfavorable conditions--full of guilt, incompetence, hostility and harassment in her matrilinear roles--surrounded by her husband Martin and Ruth Ann, seven, Scott, five, and Damon, three, with an occasional twinge for the Little Lost One. She's also rushing back and forth on the freeway, assembling grocery lists which never get past peanut butter and granola, ""having a little talk""--i.e., fighting with Martin, and thinking of violent death as it assaults her daily in the newspaper--MOTHER AND THREE FOUND SLASHED TO DEATH, etc., etc. But she's read lots of other things and her head is stuffed with Haim Ginott and Margaret Mead and Linda Goodman and The Egyptian Book of the Dead and The Three Little Pigs as well as her own dismal thoughts: ""What am I doing here? I'm renting my life; haven't finished payments and never will."" Still she manages to spend a little time in her potting shed in the garage making some of her clay pieces and by the end, she's thinking of a show and maybe even graduate school. . . . Read Norma Jean--on pinworms or toys or recycling, whatever--it's a free-form maintenance feat of considerable skill. As well as an affectionate and spankingly funny book.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1975
Publisher: Doubleday