Kathleen Robinson, il. Evaline Ness (jacket)
1968, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., Inc.
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Well-written and engrossing. Suzanne's an appealing heroine, and although her decisions at the book's end seem surprising, it's consistent with her character. Other characters are less well-defined; Barry feels like a generic steady boyfriend, rich boy Ralph seems to exist mostly as a plot device, rival Desiree is a series of flirtatious tics, and only Suzanne's elder sister, Louise comes across as a real person.
There are several unusual features. First, although the action apparently begins only halfway through Suzanne's final year of high school, and ends before the fall, there are no actual school scenes. Friends, outings, etc., yes, but no mention made of Suzanne attending classes. Barry is apparently a graduate working at an architectural firm, and mention is made of Suzanne being rather mature and sophisticated for her age due to her chic grandmother, but it seems strange. As does the chic grandmother's current whereabouts - it's never made clear if she's deceased or simply living in another state.
The Bishop home and furnishings are described by some characters, including Suzanne sometimes, as old-fashioned and antique - and undesirable.
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About the Illustrator
(1911-1986) Ness won a Caldecott Medal in 1967 for Sam, Bangs And Moonshine. She was married to Elliot Ness, the Treasury agent made famous as the head of Chicago's 'Untouchables,' from 1938-1946.