Alberta Eiseman

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 183

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Zoa Sherburne, in ["Jennifer"], the latest of her perceptive, well written books, tackles the subject of alcoholism, or, to be more precise, the effect of a mother's alcoholism on a 16-year-old girl.

Jennifer martin and her parents have moved to the state of Washington in an attempt to make a new life for themselves after the death of Jennifer's twin sister and Mrs. Martin's subsequent breakdown. Jenny would like to make friends with the high school crowd, but her own feelings of inadequacy and her constant fear of a relapse on her mother's part make her withdrawn and unsociable….

Though dealing with a potentially morbid subject, the author never forgets the audience for whom she is writing. She tells a lively story with plenty of dances, dresses and conflicting romances. Her heroine is unusually appealing and "best friend" Patsy a delightful, humorous creation. And there is a touching relationship, remarkably, skillfully developed, between Jennifer and her parents, joined so closely by their heartbreaking problem, yet painfully unable to discuss it.

Alberta Eiseman, "Family Problem," in The New York Times Book Review, March 8, 1959, p. 40.


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