Laura C. Stevenson
1990, Houghton Mifflin
Five suitcases? You brought five suitcases?
Rebecca Davidson is 10 years old and her doting father has just died of cancer. The mother she's never met has met her at the airport in frigid
My name isn't Becca; it's Rebecca. It's an Old Testament name, like all the names in Dad's family since the Mayflower, and you don't make nicknames out of Old Testament names.
Rachel laughs at the pretensions, lays out the truth for her 10-year-old daughter (apparently Daddy misled her about their origins), rubs it in, and then refuse to call her by her chosen name.
Sent from her comfortable
Rebecca suddenly remembered driving along the freeway with Dad, asking why they lived in
Rachel's anger is so inappropriately directed at her daughter and she is so self-absorbed years after the end of the marriage that presumably made her this way, that she's utterly unlikeable. The dead ex-husband who cheated on her and apparently made her the bitter, selfish woman she's become comes off as more likeable.
There are subplots about an angry, unhappy foster child, and a new best friend to make, both predictable plots which resolve in strained fashion. The new friend is the most natural character, probably because she's one of the few who isn't given the awesome responsibility of being a taciturn Vermonter or a traumatized wounded bird.
Gorgeous cover illustration of a red-headed child and a horse in a barn.
Mutt - brown Belgian gelding
Jeff - Belgian gelding
Dimwit - mare
Killiger's Sundance aka Dancer - 4 yo chestnut gelding
Gone With The Wind aka Goner - bay Welsh/TB cross gelding
Xeno - dog
Tumnus - shepherd/lab/Great