STARTING WITH MELODIE by Susan Pfeffer

STARTING WITH MELODIE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This story of the fallout from parental divorce is told from the viewpoint of the teenage child's best friend--which allows us to sympathize with the victim but spares us the worst of her misery. As the parents are a famous actress and a big director, both of them theatrical and on-stage even in their private fights, it also allows us to see the tempest as something of a show. Friend Elaine, who tells the story, has both a boyfriend who objects only mildly to the time she spends with troubled Melodie and a stable family she comes to appreciate for their support of Melodie and Melodie's little sister Lissa. Melodie and Lissa need the help, as their own parents, often absent on their separate careers, are battling about weekend rights and custody to the point of snatching the weeping Melodie and Lissa away from dinner at Elaine's house--or, on another occasion, sending a servant to snatch them, each acting only to keep the girls from the other parent's clutches. Finally, after Lissa runs away and is found, everyone comes together at Elaine's house and, with the help of Elaine's dentist mother (a pillar of sensibleness except for her UFO enthusiasm), Melodie's family works out arrangements that will be easier on the girls. Despite the potential for comedy, this never becomes really funny or really moving; but at least it moves along, with enough friends and family members bouncing off each other to keep it in motion.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1982
Publisher: Four Winds