ABOUT DAVID by Susan Beth Pfeffer


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How high school senior Lynn grieves and gradually adjusts (but mostly grieves) when her friend and neighbor David kills himself and his parents. David, adopted, always hated his parents. Lynn is shocked but, on reflection, not surprised. Still, it bothers her that she can't remember what David said to her in the school cafeteria the day before the shootings. Perhaps he wanted her to guess; perhaps she could have prevented the tragedy. Another friend of David's cracks up, and everyone is distressed. But Lynn's best friend Steffi is finally fed up with Lynn's brooding over-reaction. When Lynn finds the notebooks David had willed her, she reads them with mixed feelings, fearful of getting to the end. That and the elusive cafeteria remark provide the only approximation of suspense in the story, and neither turns out to be a bombshell. Otherwise we have a superficial scrutiny of Lynn's reactions and, to a lesser extent, David's motivation. Neither characterization is blessed with psychological insights, and despite its sleazy readability the story doesn't even have the lurid appeal one might expect from the subject.

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 1980
Publisher: Delacorte