Sunday, November 19, 2006

Defining Dulcie, by Paul Acampora

When Dulcie's dad dies in a freak janitorial accident, Mom pulls up their roots and transports Dulcie to the other side of the country, but it's all too much for Dulcie and she runs away back home in her Dad's old red pick-up truck. Back in her old home, she goes to work for her granddad, fixing up the school over the Summer (he's a janitor too) and befriends another girl with a troubled homelife.

It's a story with a lot of promise and some amusing bits (certainly all the stories about cleaning and fixing bring to mind a bit of Joan Bauer's style). It has decent characters and lots of nice anecdotes, so what's the problem? Well, it just doesn't hang together very well. Some of the writing is excellent but other parts drag and the uneveness wears at you. Acampora has promise, but this book doesn't quite reveal it yet.

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