Bette Greene Susan F. Marcus - Essay

Susan F. Marcus

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[In Them That Glitter and Them That Don't Greene] once again places her young heroine in a family too occupied with their own lives to love or care about her. But this time, unlike Patty Bergen [the central character of Summer of My German Soldier], the girl manages to emerge not unscathed by circumstances, but strengthened by facing up to them. Because everyone in Bainesville, Arkansas, distrusts her conniving Gypsy mother and disdains her drinking father, Carol Ann Delaney must endure her own lonely life. When she is unexpectedly called upon to sing before her high school class, her classmates finally begin to pay attention to her and to appreciate the talent that she has always dreamed would take her to Nashville and to fame. But her high school graduation day brings to Carol Ann the realization that most of her so-called friends and, more cruelly, Mama have abandoned her after all and that she must in turn leave her little brother and sister now if she is ever to improve any of their lives. As she leaves Bainesville for Nashville, Carol Ann calls upon those same Gypsy instincts which she has resented in her Mama to help her survive…. [Carol Ann] will keep her readers turning the page (pulling for her) as she honestly faces, and overcomes, her painful situation. (pp. 122-23)

Susan F. Marcus, in a review of "Them That Glitter and Them That Don't," in School Library Journal, Vol. 29, No. 8, April, 1983, pp. 122-23.