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Ordinary Springs
by Lenore Hart

Category: Fiction / General
385 pages; ISBN: 0425200051

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Ordinary Springs
Lenore Hart
Berkley, Jan 2005, $14.00, 385 pp.
ISBN: 0425200051

In Ordinary Springs, Florida, sixteen years old Dory Camber has lived with her father Owen, owner of a hardware store ever since her mother Vera deserted the two of them when she was an infant. Dory ponders that Vera vanished after reading a bedtime story to her. She questions to herself why her dad buried her mother's clothing and what happened between her parents and their neighbors, who are barely civil?

Though her father shows no affection, Dory believes that he exclusively loves her since she has noticed how he ignores the overtures of the town female population. However, her belief that she is numero uno dies when the Yankee invaders move in next door. While Frank Fitzgerald is a bedridden veteran, his wife Myra and Owen make love in another room. Frank commits suicide with Dory’s unintentional assistance. Not long afterward Owen and Myra agree to marry. Distraught and betrayed, Dory makes love with her childhood pal, steals cash from her dad’s store, but, the sheriff arrests her for her assisted suicide role. Reform school is next for the pregnant sixteen years old.

Though soap opera in theme ORDINARY SPRINGS is a delightful coming of age 1950s tale that brings across 1950s Florida. The story line stars a teenager whose grip on reality is weak, but further torn asunder when her dad turns to Myra. The support cast to include her first lover, her father, the neighbors, and her missing mother help the audience understand the demons that eat at a beleaguered Dory’s soul. Fans of historical family dramas will appreciate this fine novel whose lead protagonist is the heart that makes the plot worth reading.

Harriet Klausner


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