The Glass House People

The Glass House People

4.5 11
by Kathryn Reiss
     
 

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Beth’s mother, Hanny Lynn, hasn’t spoken to her parents or her sister, Iris, in twenty years. But she decides it’s time to set aside old grievances, so sixteen-year-old Beth and her brother, Tom, find themselves spending a sweltering summer with their mother and her family in a sleepy Pennsylvania town. More than just homesick, Beth is troubled by…  See more details below

Overview

Beth’s mother, Hanny Lynn, hasn’t spoken to her parents or her sister, Iris, in twenty years. But she decides it’s time to set aside old grievances, so sixteen-year-old Beth and her brother, Tom, find themselves spending a sweltering summer with their mother and her family in a sleepy Pennsylvania town. More than just homesick, Beth is troubled by deep family tensions and Aunt Iris’s sudden drunken outbursts. As Beth begins to delve into family history, she discovers a chilling and inexplicable tragedy.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-- In the first chapter, Beth is crammed into the back seat of the car on a six-day cross-country trip with her mother and brother, bitterly bemoaning the dreary summer ahead at her estranged grandparents' house. Unfortunately for readers, summer is indeed interminable, and suspense and mystery never really keep the pages turning. Beth's mother is facing the demons that made her leave home at 17--the accidental death of a man she loved, her sister's fiance. Each sister blames the other for the ``murder,'' and the plot consists of uncovering the secrets from the past. All is tied up rather cavalierly at the end, with their father--Beth's grandfather--pretending he is responsible so the sisters can quit fighting. By that time, readers will have long abandoned the story: the red herrings are pink, the characters never really come to life, and the flashbacks are clunky. However, the steamy summer heat, the atmosphere of tension in the house, and the family dynamics are well-portrayed; and the message that truth may be less important than reconciliation comes through loud and clear. Overall, though, the weaknesses outweigh the strengths. --Kathy Fritts, Jesuit High School, Portland, OR

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547710266
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/20/1996
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
649,021
File size:
208 KB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

KATHRYN REISS is the author of Time Windows, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; The Glass House People; Dreadful Sorry; Pale Phoenix, a finalist for the Edgar Award; and most recently, PaperQuake: A Puzzle. A master of the time-travel mystery genre, “Reiss slips between past and present with a callous alacrity that is wondrously effective” (Kirkus Reviews). She lives with her family in Northern California. www.midgard.com/KReiss/KReissInfo.html

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