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Lucy Peale

Lucy Peale

by Colby Rodowsky

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Pregnant after a rape and cruelly rejected by her preacher father, seventeen-year-old Lucy runs away to Ocean City, where she is taken in by Jake, an aspiring writer.


Pregnant after a rape and cruelly rejected by her preacher father, seventeen-year-old Lucy runs away to Ocean City, where she is taken in by Jake, an aspiring writer.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pregnant as the result of a secret rape, Lucy, 17, is faced with a choice: either publicly confess her ``sin'' at her fundamentalist father's tent meeting or be outcast from the family. Knowing that her baby is ``no bad thing,'' Lucy flees to nearby Ocean City, Md., where she meets Jake, a would-be writer, who lets her stay at his apartment. As Jake feeds her mind with books, movies and music and her spirit is nourished with the concept of a forgiving God, Lucy learns that ``Sin City'' and the rest of the world that her father condemned isn't such a wicked place after all. With Jake's encouragement, Lucy grows more self-reliant--her plans for the future include Jake, since the couple realize they love each other. In a deft plot twist that keeps the book focused on emotional rather than sexual issues, they agree not to consummate their love until after the baby is born--and after the gratified reader knows that Lucy is mature enough to handle whatever comes along. The only jarring note in Rodowsky's ( Dog Days ; Sydney, Herself ) sweetly moving and otherwise skillful novel is the narrative's occasional inexplicable shift to the first person, a disruption with no appreciable merit. Ages 12-up. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 9-12-- At 17, Lucy Peale lives a sheltered life under the strict supervision of her father, a fanatical fundamentalist preacher. When she becomes pregnant after being raped, her father gives her a choice: confess to being a ``Jezebel'' in front of his entire congregation or be disowned. Lucy chooses the latter and runs away to a nearby resort town. Although she has no means of support, she soon lucks out by meeting Jake, an aspiring writer. He takes her in, they fall in love, and he offers to marry Lucy and adopt her baby. He's willing to sacrifice an important career opportunity in another city, but Lucy insists that he go. Readers are left with the sense that after this temporary separation, the two will reunite and live happily ever after. Lucy's innocence and quaint speech will charm some, while others may not be able to identify with her. She appears to have great depth. However, despite the alternation between Lucy's narration and that of a third person, not enough of her inner feelings are revealed. Jake is likable but too good to be true as he patiently anticipates Lucy's every emotional need. The strength of this story lies in the moods created by descriptions of the sea town's atmosphere that mirror the characters' feelings. Although the couple's relationship is idealized, the plot will engage teens whose fancies have turned to love. Lucy : is an interesting character, and the issues are relevant enough to make this book worthy of consideration. --Jacqueline Rose, Southeast Regional Library, NC

Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.89(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.88(d)
930L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

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