Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 113
American children's books are admirably aware of the real world; they tend to deal directly with the problems that face adolescents, rather than obliquely through fantasy or symbol. There is something of a return to the didacticism of Victorian children's books. Out of this background of therapeutic literature on how to deal with menstruation, sexuality, colour prejudice, or alcoholism [A Formal Feeling] is a book dealing with bereavement but offering something more: a subtle and moving examination of how Ann, returning from boarding school to find her father remarried, comes to understand and forgive the past.
Dorothy Nimmo, in a review of "A Formal Feeling," in The School Librarian, Vol. 31, No. 3, September, 1983, p. 272.