Noëlibrarian's Reviews > Gentlehands

Gentlehands by M.E. Kerr
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Jul 05, 11

bookshelves: ya-books
Read in May, 2011

Oh, boy. The thing I find truly useful about this book is its exploration of the heavy themes of the Holocaust without being a "Holocaust book." Written at a time (1978) when one's grandfather could have been a Nazi strongman in a concentration camp, the story doesn't center on the terrible things Buddy's grandfather might have done -- instead, the focus is on Buddy, trying to find his way as a blue-collared "townie" in love with a super-rich girl outside of Montauk, New York.

Without spoiling, I'll ask -- Can humans change? Is redemption possible? Are there crimes so godawfully heinous that they cannot be forgiven?

This book shows its age only because tape decks, polyester, and Barbra Streisand are no longer de rigeur -- otherwise, the eternal themes of love, loss, and betrayal are poignantly rendered in this early offering from a master of teen literature.
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