Sharon Dennis Wyeth, Author . Delacorte $15.95 (189p) ISBN 978-0-385-32497-7

Orphea Proud tells her "love story" as a performance piece, also sprinkling some poetry into the mix. She talks about losing her preacher father at age seven, the death of her mother the following year, and about being raised by her strict half-brother and his wife. At age 10, she meets Lissa, and they become best friends. But years later Orphea feels "panic" as she realizes she is in love with Lissa. When her brother, Rupert, catches the 16-year-olds in bed, he beats Orphea, and Lissa, hurriedly driving away in the snow, crashes and dies. There is a lot of tragedy for readers to swallow, and the preacher and Rupert seem too stereotypically cruel to be credible. But the performance angle keeps the pace brisk, even though some of the material seems more expository than would be plausible before a live audience (as would its length). After Lissa's death, Orphea has a breakdown, and her brother ships her to her mother's aunts in remote Virginia. The two elderly women seem overly familiar, but they add some warmth and much-needed tolerance to the story, assuring Orphea that "you're family, honey child" even after she tells them she is gay. Wyeth (Once on This River ) brings the story to life with tactile details, such as the "wood smoke mixed with snow clouds" smell of the aunts' store on Proud Road. All in all, a tender, if not always believable, novel. Ages 14-up. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 01/03/2005
Release date: 11/01/2004
Show other formats
Hardcover - 189 pages - 978-0-385-90175-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 189 pages - 978-0-440-22706-9
Open Ebook - 113 pages - 978-0-307-81597-2
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-16908-1
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.