FRIENDS OF THE ROAD by Virginia Sorensen


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Worlds away from the newly integrated, blue-collar setting of Around The Corner, Sorensen takes us off on the road to Morocco, the latest ""tour of duty"" for Cathy's consul-general dad. Despite posh trappings of servants and limousines, preteen Cathy is fed up with all the ""coming and going."" Not only has she had to leave behind a best friend in Washington but her plane has barely touched down in Tangier before her dog, mistaken for a possibly rabid stray, is killed. And not long after she's acquired both a new pal, English Pippa who's also a diplomat's daughter, and a cuddly new pet lamb named Boots, Cathy is again left high and dry: Pippa is sent back to boarding school while rapidly growing, increasingly obstreperous Boots is sent off to live with a nearby flock. in spite of all these wrenching separations and uprootings, it's still hard to work up much sympathy for Cathy who fusses and frets so over ""darling"" Boots yet barely blinks at the sight of begging children. And her parents seem equally callous and insular. At best they show a patronizing appreciation of Moorish customs; at worst their smug friendliness toward ""the natives"" turns to hysteria the instant Pippa and Cathy get lost amid the souks of Fez (everyone, Pippa and Cathy included, is convinced the girls will be spirited away by drug addicts or white slavers). All in all, a rather disaffecting story of a self-confessed ""State Department Brat.

Pub Date: March 10th, 1978
Publisher: Atheneum