School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 7-9 Two characters, an abused teenager and her mother, present their version of the story in separate self-contained narratives which can be read in either order. Fifteen-year-old Karen breaks down during an interview with her guidance counselor and reveals that she has been sexually abused by her respectable, socially prominent stepfather for the past four years. Without sensationalism, Cole describes what was done to Karen, the physical and psychological effects of her ordeal, and the terrible price that she has paid in terms of self esteem and relationships with others. Cole's portraits of Karen and her mother are sympathetic and mutli-dimensional. That her deceived and guilt-ridden mother is equally a victim is made clear to readers. The story spans the post-disclosure period when both women reach haltingly and hopefully toward each other to establish a new relationship. The distinctive style and format make for some repetition and confusion in plot development, and the incessant use of italicized words in the mother's narrative becomes annoying. However, as a realistic cautionary tale, as an awareness-raising tool, and as a discussion catalyst, this title has some merit. Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, N.Y.
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