AN OPEN MIND by Susan Sallis


Email this review


From England, something a little bit different, with a good deal more punch than many of our thinly realistic object lessons--in a normal boy's relationship with a handicapped one David, who minds his father's having left home more than he lets on, is really thrown when Dad takes him to a performance by kids at a special school and later introduces him to Margaret, the woman behind the show and clearly a special friend. With the vague idea of finding out more about this usurper of Dad's affections, David selects the special school for the community project assigned at his own; while there, he becomes friendly with plucky, spastic Bruce who turns out to be Margaret's son. All this time David is sulkily avoiding his father, and he finds himself lying to both parents when Mum goes into the hospital for an operation believing that he's taken care of for the Christmas holidays. Thus the stage is set when wheelchair-bound Bruce, who needs regular medication, suicidally ""runs away"" from his school in the belief that if his mother gets rid of him she can marry--and David, believing that Bruce, like himself, is protesting the match, conspiratorily wheels him 15 miles to his own empty house, then becomes increasingly frantic as he realizes that the much weakened Bruce is determined to fade away. Sallis' solid, unsensational plot builds naturally to these last events, where the suspense is truly a function of the revelation of character in action.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Harper & Row