Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
It’s time for another Throwback Thursday! I have to admit, this book popped into my head and I’ve had a bit of trouble searching for a decent synopsis for it.
So, my pick for this week is… Winter Dreams, Christmas Love by Mary Francis Shura.
This lengthy tale of obsessive love begins when Ellen, 14, meets Michael, a popular high-school junior. Responding to the young man’s immediate and intense effect on her, Ellen soon realizes she’s in love. Michael’s friendly overtures have Ellen believing he returns her affections, but she feels otherwise when he constantly comments on their age difference. A sensible girl, she tries desperately to forget him with a busy schedule and other relationships, but for two years Michael’s hold on her continues. Shura ( The Sunday Doll ; Don’t Call Me Toad ) conveys unerringly the hurt and befuddlement engendered by a passive romance. Yet the largely internal story grows repetitive, and some sentences are either ungrammatical (“She acted hateful”) or badly cast (“The girl wasn’t anything like as pretty as Val”). Ellen’s suffering may, however, strike a responsive chord with readers; in any case they will certainly sympathize with her experience.
Lookit that cover. That’s classy right there. When my 12-year-old self picked this up, I was super excited. I felt so grown up. This book was thick (about 400 pages, I think), probably the biggest book I had picked up and read, AND it had shiny foil letters that were reminiscent of the very grown up romance novels that my grandmother always had sitting on her side table.
It was SO reminiscent of one of those books that I got in trouble for reading it at school. My 6th grade teacher did a double-take of the cover and told me that I needed to read something more appropriate for my age. Then she caught me reading it again and it was taken away and given back at the end of the day.
I was just like… what?? I got this at the book fair! In a big pile of publisher’s remainders! My MOM bought it for me! (But then again, she always encouraged reading — no matter the topic, so….)
Anyway, I just remember being impressed that this book took place over FOUR YEARS. Girl develops crush on boy, boy leads her on, and they finally get together in the end. Oops. Spoiler? But she spends FOUR years pining after him, doodling his name on her notebooks, and always looking forward to the summer when she would get to see him.
I think that there’s a subplot in there somewhere… there has to be.
Oh well, anyway, if I had the chance to read this again, I probably would. I just remember it was fun, it was intense, and I wondered if I would get to have an experience like that when I was in high school
(Well, maybe I did. I had a crush on a teacher.)
(Nothing came of it.)
Apparently this was part of a series of similar books — Point Romance, just like Point Fantasy or Point Horror, but they featured this author a lot.
Have you read any of the series?