DANCER IN THE MIRROR by Winifred Morris


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Two 16-year-old girls, in spite of their blood pact, avoid double suicide when one of them realizes she needn't act as a mirror for the other and saves herself and her friend. Carole has had a hard time since her parents' divorce three years earlier. When her emotions are intense, she feels as if she were shrinking and small enough to hide anywhere, or as if she were outside her own body watching herself in a movie. She becomes friends with Marty, who is beautiful, wealthy, and talks a lot about death, often inventing sarcastic epigraphs for her tombstone. Marty feels that her psychiatrist father and teacher mother ""are about as capable of love as two electric typewriters. They don't know how to love their kids. . ."" Marry decides to kill herself in the cave where she and Carole make their pact, assuming that Carole will follow her in this as she does in most things. Carole resists, and Marry shoots a bat rather than herself. The descriptions of the girls' chilling mutual dependency are convincing, although the prose is occasionally pretentious. Though both girls seem seriously disturbed, no indication is given that they may be experiencing more than adolescent angst. (Carole has had therapy in the past.) Not for all readers: useful, perhaps. for some.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Atheneum