Wednesday, June 18, 2014


By M. E. Kerr. New York: Harper, 1990.

Buddy Boyle is from a working class family in Seaville, New York but is dating Sky Pennington, a summer resident of the Oceanside community. To impress her, he takes her to meet his aristocratic German grandfather and defaults to doing this quite often so as to avoid Sky having to meet his blue collar family. Then, Buddy discovers his grandfather is the cruel Nazi death camp guard known as Gentle Hands.

This book would have been good enough without bringing up the holocaust. There was plenty here with Buddy feeling conflicted between his roots and Sky's world without Kerr having to throw that in. The absence of the Nazi element would have given Kerr a chance to explore an underlying theme that should have been developed more: namely, that a man can better himself.

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