Barbara Corcoran Cherie Zarookian - Essay

Cherie Zarookian

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[This Is a Recording is a] superior, fast-moving novel with a Montana setting…. Told in the first person as a tape-recorded diary, this is not just another city-girl-matures-in-the-country-and-begins-to-love-nature story. The tone is generally whimsical, characterizations are vivid, there's plenty of action, and Marianne's wry, humorous and insightful observations spark interest throughout.

Cherie Zarookian, "Book Reviews: 'This Is a Recording'," in School Library Journal, an appendix to Library Journal (reprinted from the December, 1971 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1971), Vol. 18, No. 4, December, 1971, p. 63.

Within the improbable framework, [A Trick of Light] is a comfortable and unassuming story of a girl's learning to "let go" of her independent twin brother. At the outset, the accomplishments (listed rather than demonstrated) of Cass' parents almost invite resentment…. Then there's the twins' winter overnight in a nearby summer camp, all so they can go on looking for their wounded dog Bingo in the morning—however convenient a set-up for their close interaction, less reasonable (and less considerate of their unnotified parents) than sleeping at home. But once they're dug in at the camp, the twins' thwarted stabs at communication are quietly authentic; Cass' later fall through the ice carries readers right along into the "menacing" pool, and Bingo's ultimate death brings the story to a convincing close as it brings the twins uncloyingly (and unpossessively) together.

"Younger Fiction: 'A Trick of Light'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1972 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XL, No. 3, February 1, 1972, p. 135.