Gray, Dianne E. Together apart.

Author:Rosser, Claire
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article

Hougton Mifflin 193p. c2002. 0-618-18721-9. $16.00. J

A blizzard that comes up suddenly on the prairies, killing schoolchildren: this is the main character in this drama of a young girl recovering from the deaths of two brothers in such a blizzard. But the story is told obliquely: we aren't quite sure what happened and why until the final pages. The narrators are Hannah and Isaac, whose voices alternate as the story unfolds. Both seek refuge after the blizzard with a young widow in town, who opens her home to them. Isaac is a refugee from the law, since his stepfather has accused him of stealing his tools. So Isaac must hide, all the time worrying about his mother who is the victim of abuse from this evil stepfather--and by the way, the tools belonged to Isaac's father. Legally they belong to the stepfather, but Isaac considers them his legacy from his dead father. Hannah is escaping from her cold father who has shut himself away from her in his grief. She is sure he blames her for the death of the brothers. Hannah and Isaac love each other, sharing the horror of the blizzard, which they survived wrapped in one another's arms under a haystack--another reason for shame, as far as Hannah's father is concerned. So the two must be careful that few people know they are both now sheltered by the widow, Eliza.


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