Child of My Heart


A nostalgic novel about summer and youth can’t possibly end well. No surprises here. McDermott, author of the National Book Award winner Charming Billy, warns her reader on page 38 about ”the fall and winter that awaited poor Daisy.” The poor thing is an 8-year-old girl given to bad bruises and feverish brow who joins her 15-year-old, preternaturally wise cousin on Long Island for an idyllic summer. What the story lacks in suspense (expect the usual coming-of-age chapters — lost pet, lost virginity, lost life), it makes up for in lovely writing. Forgive the book its precious moments. For every scene catching fireflies, there’s one that recalls the oomph of McDermott’s better work.

Child of My Heart
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