Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 58
The story takes place primarily in a Boston suburb and in an ocean-front swim and tennis club there or at the site of various tennis competitions. Although the book was written in 1980 and contains references to tennis and baseball players of that time, the book is still contemporary—the tennis players mentioned are still active in the sport.
Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 208
Wells uses similes effectively. For example, she describes the discovery of Kathy's tennis talent as, "Tennis had come suddenly to Kathy, like the unexpected winning of a state lottery. And like those gleeful lottery winners pictured in the papers grinning among the signals of poverty that were theirs moments before, Kathy cherished tennis, and outwardly reveled in it." To describe people who find fault with others, Wells writes, "Why did they always spot her dreadful little flaws, save them up like money and present her with them, cooked and flavored like a perfect chowder of inconsistency, temper losing, and vile habits?"
Although an important clue is mentioned on the first page of the book, there is no hint of any foul play or mystery until well past the middle of the book. Even then Kathy (and the reader) are sheltered from the truth for fear it will interfere with her tennis playing at an important competition. Prior to that the book focuses on the effects of competition on the lives of Kathy and her family. Wells leaves few real clues and many false ones from that point to the end of the book. Only the inquisitive reader will consider this a mystery; others will still enjoy the story.
For Further Reference
Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 80
Kirkpatrick, D. L., ed. Twentieth Century Children's Writers. 2nd ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983: 810-811. This book contains a brief biography of Wells and critiques her work.
Sutton, Roger. "A Second Look: None of the Above." Horn Book 63,3 (1987): 368-371. This article examines Wells's book None of the Above.
Wells, Rosemary. "The Artist at Work: The Writer at Work." Horn Book 63,2, (1987): 163-170. Wells describes her career as an author and illustrator and tells where she gets her inspiration and ideas.