Volume 14 Number 2
The loneliness and isolation of a child who must cope with a special gift that allows her knowledge of both the past and the future is told through a series of incidents that lead to her acceptance of that gift. This acceptance, however, does not come easily for ten-year-old Julie Morgan. Not until the day when she makes use of her gift to rescue her father from death does she stop being frightened of that special gift and realize that it may be used to good end. Unlike her neighbour, old granny Goderich, who can also see things others cannot (but who does not prevent her son from taking a train that crashes), Julie Morgan decides to take steps to prevent catastrophies from happening.The account of Julie's story is told through a series of reminiscences. This weakens the plot, and, as a result, the book lacks a strong story line. The first nine chapters are a series of flashbacks that are difficult to follow chronologically, even for adults. In chapter eight, for example, the author relates Julie's nervousness about her first day of school. She then makes a comment about a book that Julie cannot borrow from the school library because she is only in grade two. The following chapters continue to emphasize incidents in Julie's life. The most exciting moment comes at the end of the book when Julie races on the stallion, Diablo, to rescue her father. Unfortunately, by then, Taylor has lost the interest of the reader. The story is well written. Taylor makes good use of dialogue. At times, however her dialogue and descriptions show a cleverness that will be lost on children. The description of Julie's great grandmother as "a diviner like in Margaret Laurence's book," will catch the attention of adults, but add nothing to the text as children will not understand the comparison. In many instances, the book seems to have been written for an adult audience. Her characters are likeable and well developed. Children who read the book until the end will feel for the Morgan family and will be able to picture each one of them well. This is Taylor's first book. Although the book has flaws, the author shows great promise.
André Gagnon, Regina P.L., Regina, SK.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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