Older Men

Older Men

by Norma Klein

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School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up Sixteen-year-old Elise is contentedly her cardiologist Daddy's little girl while mother June fades from their lives into a nervous breakdown. Mother's hospitalization forces Elise to grow up fast. She questions and rejects her father's chauvinism and his need to control her. In the process, Elise becomes sexually involved with her father's older stepson from a previous marriage and learns that her stepsister too had been adored and dominated by Elise's father until she grew up. Heroine Elise is uninteresting and insipid, and a bevy of unattractive and unsympathetic characters attempt to influence her. At the end, Elise, a Yale freshman, is no longer the little girl who will need an older man to care for her and dominate her, and her father has found a new woman who is the mother of a little girl. For all the talk of role models, there are none with values of sense. Father is a villain; mother is a stick figure victim; Grandma is a narcissistic manipulator. Puzzling is the mother's speedy recovery after her escape from the mental hospital. An empty story that doesn't hold together. Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, N.Y.

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Random House Publishing Group
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