Somehow I ended up today with another Paula Fox book. It's funny how I went years without reading any of her books, and this week I reread one and tried out a new one, The Moonlight Man. I've owned if for years and years (decades?) but the topic of a teenage girl learning to deal with her divorced and possibly alcoholic father didn't encourage me to pick it up, maybe because my parents divorced and then so did I, and I shy away from obvious bibliotherapy books.
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It's just as well I waited; I don't think I would have enjoyed it at an age it would have aimed at me. Fox writes a slow investigation of Catherine's growing maturity and understanding of her father; this is the summer that she actual starts to understand him, but she is also learning about herself. Some things do happen, as her father alternately charms her with his refreshing and challenging outlook on life and repels her with his dips into binge drinking, but mostly the book is spent inside Catherine's head, watching as she makes connections and learns about people and their complex emotions, including her own.
I'll leave it out, but I can't honestly say I think my thirteen year old would like this. He does surprise me sometimes, though.