CM . . . .
Volume V Number 13 . . . . February 26, 1999
Ms Dunforth gave us the rundown on the place ... and finally, the rules.This book is the third in the series about Harper Winslow and, in it, he is 15 and off to camp for a week, a "Good Idea" of his mother's which is regarded by Harper with deep suspicion and merely as a way of getting him out of her hair until she mentions that it is a camp for aspiring writers. Harper definitely regards himself as being in that group, and sets out prepared to enjoy his week. Right from the opening talk, quoted in part above, he does indeed have a good time, in large part because he falls in love with Sunny, the twin sister of one of the other campers who is staying at a nearby cabin with his family.
Young love, especially first young love, is always funny to the outsider and intensely serious to the participants. The humour here comes in the contrast between Harper's total inexperience of, and involvement in, love, and Sunny's relative detachment; the pathos comes with the difficult decision as to whether Sunny should go to live with an unfavourite aunt who has this 'beautiful place on Yonge Street' in Toronto where Sunny would be able to go to art college, or stay in Edmonton with her family whom she adores, and, incidentally, with Harper.
So the story is about feelings, and decision-making, and it is funny, and sad, and touching, all at once. There is no condescension; the reader laughs aloud, but with, not at, the characters; and it is great fun.
Mary Thomas is presently working in the library at Oxford Brookes University, while on leave from her job as a library clerk in Winnipeg School Division No. 1.
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