• Title: Deliver Us from Evie
  • Author: M. E. Kerr
  • Released: 1994-10-01
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 177
  • ISBN: 0060244755
  • ISBN13: 978-0060244750
  • ASIN: 0060244755
From Publishers Weekly Kerr (Linger; the Fell books) skillfully evokes the gritty realities and narrow horizons of farm life in this sensitive portrayal of the lesbian daughter of a rural Missouri family. Narrator Parr Burrman, a high school junior, is thankful that his mannish sister Evie, 18, is an enthusiastic farmer, for he has little desire to join the family business. However, Evie's interests begin to change after she meets Patsy, daughter of the town's leading citizen, at home only for a rare break between boarding school and summer camp. Suddenly Evie's listening to "women's music," taking off on the weekends for "lunch" with Patsy, and wearing the expensive man-tailored clothing Patsy has given her. In vain Mrs. Burrman tries to set Evie up with a smitten hired hand named Cord, and exhorts her to "fix herself up" and wear more feminine clothing. A drunken attempt by Parr and Cord to expose the girls' relationship backfires and causes Evie to run away to New York. Kerr pulls off a fairy-tale resolution to the girls' relationship by adroitly balancing against it a natural disaster and Parr's own bittersweet romance. The small-minded and the conformists tend to get lumped together here, but Kerr's exploration of different drummers is, as always, subtle and thought-provoking. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal Grade 9 Up-A skilled mechanic and farmer on her family's Missouri spread, Evie Burrman, 17, has a streak of blond in her slicked-back dark hair, a sign quietly calculated to ward off other people's assumptions-for starters, that she'll marry Cord Whittle, and that she'll help Dad keep the farm going. Evie's story is affectingly told by her younger brother, Parr, who understands as their parents cannot that Evie is falling in love, not with Cord Whittle, but with the daughter of the man who holds the mortgage on their farm. Parr's observations are telling: "You'd say Evie was handsome. You'd say Mom was pretty." Meanwhile, Parr falls for a girl whose fundamentalist family is fearful of gayness, and tension builds slowly until the truth about Evie explodes out of Parr, not just to their parents, but to the whole town. This is first-rate storytelling, with Kerr in absolute control of the narrative. Evie never seems a victim, nor are there villains. With the exception of the rich man who holds the Burrman mortgage, all of the characters are likable. All are survivors. Among the most convincing lesbian characters in young adult fiction, Evie makes a lasting impression, and Parr himself, the loving but conflicted brother, is just as finely drawn and memorable.
Claudia Morrow, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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