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KINSHIP by Trudy Krisher


by Trudy Krisher

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-385-32272-0
Publisher: Delacorte

Returning to the small Georgia town in which she set her memorable debut, Spite Fences (1994), Krisher explores the difference between kin and family in a painful story rich in local flavor and authentic feeling. A proposal to rezone their trailer park for permanent housing has the residents of Happy Trails a-tizzy. Luckily, 15-year-old Perty Wilson's father, James, is on the scene again after years of wandering; he has sheet metal to sell for trailer skirts, and, when that turns out not to be ``permanent'' enough for the zoning commission, claims he can make a deal for a load of cement. Perty believes her father hung the moon, and now that he's back good times have finally come to her family. Then she learns that some of the gifts he's been bringing her were bought by others; he repays her blind devotion by standing her up at the high school's father/daughter dance; the cement money suddenly disappears, along with her mother Rae Jean's emergency fund and, soon after, James himself. Krisher develops an engrossing sense of place with vigorous, evocative language, telling situations, and lively conversation. Using no fewer than ten narrators, and leisurely about laying down background details, the author demands from readers their time and attention, but rewards them with a live-wire protagonist and a thoughtful portrait of an often fractious community, anchored by unexpectedly strong ties of love and responsibility. (Fiction. 12+)