Dark But Full of Diamonds by Katie Letcher Lyle

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Dark But Full of Diamonds Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Dark but Full of Diamonds concerns issues of love, loss, and growing up. With humor, honesty, and insight, this novel presents the story of Scott Dabney, a young man of sixteen in a southern town, deeply in love with a somewhat older young woman who eventually marries his father, a doctor. Scott's mother died when he was twelve, and he projects some of his yearnings for her onto his sexy and talented young teacher, Hilah. Coming to terms with his sexual feelings, his grief and confusion concerning his mother's death, his hostile feelings towards his father, and his yearning to reconnect with his visions of happiness in his past, before his mother died, are all central to Scott's inner life.

Scott narrates his own story, allowing us to see his life from his own perspective. He is smart, witty, popular and talented, but he is also driven, haunted, and unhappy. His inner unrest leads him to do foolish acts such as going on drunken escapades and playing dangerous games with an M-l rifle.

Scott's social world is secure—he is generally self-confident, has many friends, and knows several young women who would love to be close to him. But Scott's inner world is confused and tormented: His life no longer makes emotional sense since his mother died. He blames his father for her death, and he has a vision, made powerful by desire, of Hilah loving him and marrying him. But that vision is an illusion. Realizing that Hilah can not supply the link to his lost world of love and security is extremely painful but necessary to Scott. In a way it hardly matters whether his father and Hilah finally marry or not, because the real cause of Scott's suffering lies in the distance between his illusions, which are fed by his needs, and the realities of life, in particular the stubborn, separate...

(The entire section is 483 words.)