Newbery, Linda. The shell house.

Author:Marler, Myra
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

NEWBERY, Linda. The shell house. Randora House. 335p. c2002. 0-4440-23786-6. $6.50. SA

A shell house represents a ruined estate in the English countryside, the tissue of lies and self-deceptions people use to sustain their daily activity, and a belief system, such as Christianity, which sustains hope that life has meaning and suffering has purpose. All are subject to attack.

Sixteen-year-old Greg, an aspiring photographer, helps restore a shell house, burned in a fire during WW I, attempts to establish friendships, and works to identify his own values, artistic ethic, and true sexual orientation. All his efforts are challenged by a local bully; a girl who pursues him for sex only; another girl who wants to convert him from atheism to Christianity; and a male friend who stirs unacknowledged longings in him for physical intimacy. Greg's struggles are contrasted with the love affair Edward, the original heir to the estate, a soldier in...

To continue reading