When She Was Good

by Norma Fox Mazer

Teenage Em has been socially and emotionally deprived her entire life, but nothing... read more

Teenage Em has been socially and emotionally deprived her entire life, but nothing has been harder than the past few year's spent living with her older sister. Her mother's death was difficult, it left her feeling empty and sad and somehow inadequate. But living with Pamela, who is deeply disturbed and frighteningly violent, isn't about emptiness, it's about danger and fear. It's about being made to feel you are worthless. It's about hatred. Then, as if Em's thoughts were read and acted upon, Pamela is dead, of heart failure. And now Em is alone. But even though Pamela is gone and can never come back, Em can still hear her voice--full of threats and spite and meanness, telling Em she's no good. Norma Fox Mazer's exquisite, acutely sensitive prose captures intense emotions and the tender, painful moments that mark Em's difficult emergence from darkness into light in this haunting, riveting novel. (Age 15 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1997

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