Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 145
[In The Language of Goldfish readers] recognize Carrie's growing bewilderment and her muted cries for help as the pressures and tensions of suburban adolescent life threaten to overwhelm her. But the adults around her are too involved in their own concerns to respond. The themes of alienation and lack of communication are skillfully woven throughout the novel, until Carrie's attempted suicide seems inevitable.
In Carrie, the author has created a person that young readers will identify with, as she gradually learns to understand her own failures and her strengths. The novel rings true in every aspect—from the glowing imagery of Carrie's fantasies as her grasp on reality loosens to the mundane details of her long and difficult struggle to accept the harsh facts of the grown-up world.
Jean Ducan, in a review of "The Language of Goldfish," in English Journal, Vol. 70, No. 4, April, 1981, p. 77.