Girl in the Mirror is the account of how awkward, overweight Ruth Ann copes with the remarriage of her widowed father. It goes almost without saying that the new stepmother, Tracy, is tall, slim, elegant, gracious, as well as a very paragon of patience in her handling of the nasty child. When Ruth Ann's father is killed in a car crash, the two women are thrown together to make a new life for themselves. The events, however, unfold in a vacuum, for we are given no feeling of who these people are, where and how they live. The setting is suburban, colorless, hermetic, as stifling perhaps as the life of an unhappy young girl obsessed with her own physical ugliness. The details of dieting and of meals, their anticipation, preparation, and consumption are insistent and tedious, though appropriately so in this context, but the dullness of the book is due more to a lack-lustre quality in its characters than to any deficiency in plot or development.
Deirdre Wulf, "Young Ladies in Distress," in Book Week—World Journal Tribune, October 23, 1966, p. 12.∗