Isabelle Holland

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[Of Love and Death and Other Journeys] begins on a deceptively supercilious note with an odd family assortment of emigres, calling themselves Flopsy, Mopsy, Peter and Cotton…. Mopsy discovers that her Mother (hitherto Flopsy) is dying of cancer and she (and we) begin to understand and admire this vulnerable eccentric. Much of what Mopsy learns is revealed by her father…. Holland is an aggressive writer and some of this—father's button-down sincerity as well as Mopsy's flip sophistication—seems manipulated. But Mother's character and Mopsy/Meg's sorrow at seeing her waste away in silence are genuinely moving, and though later Mopsy's grief is sublimated in a crush on Cotton and worked out through his rejection, one can respect the fact that a mother's death is not treated here as just another YA problem. Awkwardly developed at times, but there's some real emotion here that can't be ignored. (pp. 383-84)

"Young Adult Fiction: 'Of Love and Death and Other Journeys'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1975 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XLIII, No. 7, April 1, 1975, pp. 383-84.

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