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Cyndy Baskin
Toronto, Sister Vision, 1992. 220pp, paper, $12.95
ISBN 920813-54-2. CIP.

Grades 9 and up/Ages 14 and up

Reviewed by Eve Williams.

Volume 21 Number 3
1993 May

The message of this book is this: children of alcoholics (COA) are messed up, live lives of great anguish, and - just maybe - might be able to reclaim their lost childhoods and survive emotion ally with aboriginal healing powers and traditional teachings.

The Invitation is the story of three young women, one aboriginal, one Metis and one WASP, all children of alcoholics. Their angst, their struggles, and their fragmented lives are examined. In the end, each has a chance to become whole, and we leave Karen, Nancy and Michelle starting over, daring to be optimistic.

I sighed when I saw the front, a dreary, quasi-religious cover, emblazoned with ďA novel for young adults" and "An important new voice" - factors guaranteed to repel instantly most cool YA readers. This is a pity, because Cyndy Baskin's three heroines are really quite engaging. Their problems are realistically chronicled, and the reader is on their side and dares to hope that things might work out for them. Baskin's style is a hybrid of Kevin Major and David Adams Richards.

There are students out there that might find this a worthwhile read. However, library staff are going to have to do the selling, because the cover and trade paperback format detract from the book.


Eve Williams teaches at Lewisville Junior High School in Moncton, New Brunswick.
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