Barbara Corcoran Mary M. Burns

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Mary M. Burns

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Pained by the growing incompatibility between her parents, sixteen-year-old Rachel Douglas elects to pay an extended visit to her maternal grandparents until her mother and father reach a decision about their futures [in Hey, That's My Soul You're Stomping On]…. [Through] the quiet wisdom of her grandparents and her observations of the other elderly vacationers at the comfortable but unfashionable Palm Springs resort motel, she acquires a tolerance for human failings and the understanding that concern for one's parents, however burdensome it may sometimes be, is not lightly dismissed…. Written in a taut, brittle style, the story conveys the effects of divorce upon a family, while simultaneously suggesting the tensions which precipitate it. Because the characters are particularly well-drawn, the novel combines several motifs, such as the abused child and the problems of aging, into a coherent whole without shifting its central focus from the constant inner struggle between self-preservation and concern for others.

Mary M. Burns, "Summer Booklist: 'Hey, That's My Soul You're Stomping On'," in The Horn Book Magazine (copyright © 1978 by The Horn Book, Inc., Boston), Vol. LIV, No. 3, June, 1978, p. 282.