Saturday, October 6, 2007

Wendy by Karen Wallace

I've always loved the Peter Pan story in all of its incarnations, so I was excited to find this on the shelf. It's a story that takes place in Wendy's life when she is 9 years old, so right off the bat there's the downside of no Peter. This tale is much darker - Wendy does associate with a young man who will never grow up, but it's her friend Thomas, a 15 year old mentally retarded boy who lives in the country and turns out to have a much closer relationship to the Darlings than anyone has admitted. Mr. Darling is an alcoholic with money troubles who has an affair with a neighbor, and Wendy and her brothers are subjected to the cruel treatment of a nanny who punishes them with castor oil for the smallest offense. Some things are very interesting, such as teen neighbor Esther and her involvement with the suffragettes, but I mostly found the novel lacking. Sadly, I don't think I could recommend this to fans of the book or the movies because it lacks the charming qualities, and I'm not sure who else would be interested.

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