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Alex, 14, is the product of a terrible upbringing—his mother is an inveterate liar and a drifter who has never hesitated to strike him. Throughout the story that he narrates, Alex offers readers glimpses of his former life, traveling from city to city, where his mother "entertained" a string of boyfriends who were no more eager to see a small boy in the apartment than Alex was to see them. Frequently locked out of the house, he began to hang around in video arcades or parks where he eventually ended up in a fight, resulting in criminal charges against him. The book opens as Alex arrives at his grandparents' farm. Unlike the protagonist in Garland's Letters From the Mountain (see review, above), Alex is a boy with heart who might just overcome his poisonous past. Morris (The Future of Yen-Tzu, 1992, etc.) creates suspense by contrasting the influence of the people who show Alex kindness with the forces tempting him to dangerous behavior. The natural setting is a healing influence for the boy, who loves Western novels and unrealistically dreams of his absentee father coming to rescue him on a horse. The truth is finer than dreams, though; Alex, unfairly tested and tried, realizes that even under duress he can make the right choices for himself.
Posted April 2, 2005
Posted April 16, 2000
Alex is struggling with his life. He doesn't seem to understand what exactly is going on, yet tries to very much. In this well written book, Winifred Morris tries to capture the life of an alone 14 year old teenager who started out as a liar, and somehow manages to become a better person by the end of the novel. His grandparents encourage him, and his girlfriend accepts him as he is, or was. I greately enjoy books with such suspense yet passion. It somehow reminds me of what my life has been like, only without the juvenille detention.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.