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[personal profile] cahn
These, with Come a Stranger, make up my favorite Tillerman books:

Dicey's Song (4/5): A young person of my acquaintance pointed out to me a while back that if something won the Newberry medal, it was likely because something horribly tragic happened near the end. So, y'know. This one won the Newberry.

I wasn't expecting to like this one on reread as much as I did, or be as emotionally engaged, but the end breaks me down every time. It isn't the main tragedy (or at least not just that): it's the part where Dicey and Gram go into the wood store afterwards. Because — and I'm quite fortunate, I know, to have only the most shallow of understandings of this -- sometimes it's not the thing that happens that breaks you, it's when someone gives you kindness you weren't expecting, or an acquaintance or stranger you wouldn't give two thoughts to otherwise, or vice versa, gives you a deep understanding you hadn't thought anyone could.

It's about reaching out, and letting go.

(Also, wow, after reading Come a Stranger, yeah, Dicey's interactions with Mina, like the bit where Dicey totally shuts Mina down when she wants to visit, totally could be interpreted by an observer as extremely racist if you weren't privy to Dicey's internal monologue or didn't know about her Issues.)

A Solitary Blue (5/5): I was afraid I wouldn't love this book as much as I did when I first read it, but no worries. I cannot explain why I adore this book so much. I don't see why it speaks to me in a way that none of the other Tillerman books quite do, but it does. I think it's because the way Jeff thinks internally is sort of kind of like the way I think internally, even though his experiences are nothing like mine, and he has some qualities I do not have. (And it's kind of amazing that she wrote almost every book with a different protagonist, and they all have different modes of internal thought.)

Also, man, totally setting up Jeff's particular Issues for Seventeen Against the Dealer.


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