THE BAD DREAMS OF A GOOD GIRL by Susan Shreve

THE BAD DREAMS OF A GOOD GIRL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lotty's dreams aren't really bad, just the normal ones of fear or revenge that any nine-year-old might spin to compensate for everyday disappointments. As set forth in four chapters, Lotty's real-life problems include the ""I Hate Lotty"" club begun by a snotty rival at her new school (the campaign eventually runs out of steam); her sense of abandonment when her mother goes back to work; the shy uneasiness she feels on spending a day alone with her sick-in-bed father (this is caught with fine perception, though the episode then becomes mushy); and the minor but temporarily scary camping accident that befalls her older brother Philip--a result, Lotty fears, of her own daydream about rescuing him from a similar but worse accident. (Sibling fights and fondness are balanced affectingly through all four episodes.) Shreve's projection of Lotty's feelings is a little too smooth for impact, but easy for other nine-year-olds to relate to--and the subject and treatment are in better proportion here than in Shreve's problem-ridden Family Secrets (1979).

Pub Date: March 1st, 1982
Publisher: Knopf