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Rachel (USA)

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That Night
That Night
by Alice McDermott
Edition: Paperback
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5.0 out of 5 stars That Night...a novel to remember, May 20 2004
This review is from: That Night (Paperback)
Have you ever felt that instantaneous smile that stretched upon your face, that unexplainable feeling deep inside yourself that makes you glow on the outside? Have you ever been in love with someone that everything else around you seems like a blur? Well, that is a description of the strong the bond of love is between the two main characters (Sheryl and Rick) are in the novel "That Night."
The story takes place in the summer of the early 1960's; in a typical long island suburb. On a street where every house was the same, where everybody in your neighborhood knew all there was to know about your family. The novel is narrated by a young girl who is Sheryl's neighbor.
Rick and Sheryl are two young teenagers who are deeply in love with each other even though Sheryl's family struggles with her decision of dating Rick. Sheryl escapes the reality of her father's death, and turns to Rick for comfort. "She had not been spoken to so directly, had not had anyone but Rick so directly meet her eye, since her father had died" (126.) After the horrifying news of her father's death Sheryl yet to finds out that she is pregnant with Rick's child. In the 1960's it was frowned upon if you were with child, but not married. As an embarrassment to her own town she is sent to Wayside, a school for troubled girls. "She took control of her daughter's tragedy in a way she had been unable to do with her own and turned the anger she had learned, the nastiness, to what would have seemed to her to be good use. For in these matters, it was well accepted at the time, the girl must disappear and the hoodlum boy never know" (53.)
This novel explores a troublesome time that Sheryl dealt with and then learned to overcome. "If you knew everybody you loved was just going to end up disappearing, you'd probably say "Why bother, right? You'd probably even stop liking people if you knew it wasn't going to make any difference, they're just going to eventually disappear" (71.) I enjoyed this book because it really made you look at life more seriously and made you stop and realize that you have to p ay for the actions to do in life.

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