Love, Sara-Mary Beth Lundgren

  • Title: Love, Sara
  • Author: Mary Beth Lundgren
  • Released: 2001-10-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 176
  • ISBN: 0805067973
  • ISBN13: 978-0805067972
  • ASIN: 0805067973


From Publishers Weekly Through a series of e-mail exchanges, diary entries and fiction penned by an intelligent narrator, Lundgren (We Sing the City) shapes a fast-paced and emotionally layered novel about a troubled high school junior living with a foster family. Gradually, readers learn that Sara Reichert was sexually abused by her father and other men, then was shuffled from home to home. Now, having lived with the stable Carol and her two children for nearly four years, Sara is finally feeling somewhat grounded and has her first real friends. Even so, she's haunted by her past, and unable to discuss her feelings except in the stories she writes for her Honors English class. Meanwhile, her best friend, Dulcie, and Dulcie's boyfriend are in a dramatic Romeo and Juliet-like relationship. When Sara first decides to join their suicide pact, then rejects it, she doesn't know who to turn to for help. The narrative starts slowly, but Lundgren smoothly incorporates the various storytelling devices and keeps the narrative going apace. Sara addresses her journal entries to Toulouse-Lautrec (because "You were an outsider too") and her stories add texture and complexity as the plots and metaphors subtly reveal events from her past. Lundgren captures powerful emotions in brief exchanges and the turn of a phrase. Ages 12-up. (Oct.).

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Through journal entries and e-mails, readers are introduced to Sara, whose voice is alternately light and weighty, as she tells of her slow growth into her new foster home. Sexually abused by her father, Sara was taken from her family and has learned not to trust anyone except her best friend, Dulcie. She has been moved in and out of various homes until landing with Carol and her two children. Sara and Dulcie's frequent e-mails are full of typical teen angst about love and school, clothes and complaints. The normalcy reflected here is balanced by journal entries addressed to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, in which Sara reveals her internal struggles. English assignments included in the journal along with teacher comments elucidate that pain and hurt from her past that form the basis of her mistrust and alienation. Even as readers see her beginning to heal, events conspire to push her into believing that there is no hope for her. As the book races to the end, they will be on edge wondering if the strengths she has gained will be enough when pregnant Dulcie and her boyfriend, who has been disowned by his wealthy family, are killed in an accident. Sara is an unreliable narrator at times, and readers will need to pay close attention to subtle hints about what is going on. While lacking emotional depth and complexity, the fast-paced narrative and teen voice provide plenty of appeal, even for reluctant readers.

Carol A. Edwards, Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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