When Karen Hale [protagonist of "Almost April"] went to Oregon to live with her father and his new wife, Jan, she was all set to dislike them both. She had not seen her father for years, and her mother's recent death had left her bitter and unhappy. The Hales' love and understanding, and Jan's obvious desire to make her happy, won Karen over. Then her friendship with Nels Carlson reopened the rift with her father….
This is a fast-reading story of a difficult year in a young girl's life, for the many adjustments always present during the teens are complicated, in Karen's case, by her unhappy background. The windswept coast of the Pacific makes an exciting background for the stormy romance between Karen and Nels.
Alberta Eiseman, "A Crucial Year," in The New York Times Book Review, February 5, 1956, p. 24.