Audrey's Reviews > Hello, My Love, Good-Bye: A Stacy Belford Story

Hello, My Love, Good-Bye by Lenora Mattingly Weber
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Jul 16, 12

bookshelves: fiction, 1970s, young-adult-fiction, series
Read from July 01 to 15, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Oh…the cover on this. So ugly. But it is the 1970s, so what can you really expect? This book is definitely different and edgier than the previous ones. I can’t say I love the change, but I do feel like it does a good job addressing some very pertinent issues. I doubt I would even pick this up if I didn't already know and love these characters. This book is interesting to read in regard to the social commentary it provides. The tumultuous outside cultural forces of the '70s--drugs, hippies, the generation gap, attempted rape, rock concerts--are contrasted with Stacy's parochial high school run by nuns, the Belford family's warm and inviting home, Ben's diligent studying, and Fabian's bookish musings. It's an interesting contrast.

I think one of the passages in the book that best sums up the author's feelings on this subject would be when Ben tells Stacy:
"No, I don't know all the answers--or even a few of them. I don't blame all these fellows that kick over the traces and talk about making a better world. It is a mess." He mused on as though he were thinking aloud. "I guess it's in the marrow of my bones that you work to get what you want--you don't just demand it and take it. I can sympathize with the ones who want to dodge the draft, but I can't savvy their burning draft cards and spitting on the flag…. It's alright with me if these fellows want to wear beads around their necks and flowers in their hair and go barefooted, but I still can't figure how all their tossing bricks and wrecking property is going to usher in a new and beautiful world." (80-81)
Weber's writing is not preachy, though. More than anything it asks the questions and leaves the reader to imply the answer.

Does it bother anyone else that Jean Patrice lets Dozer have a drink right before taking the babysitter--Stacy--home. Doesn't that send up a huge red flag? Was drinking and driving just not as big of a deal back then (119)?

I really felt for Stacy in this book. She goes through a lot, and it's almost hard to read at times. I could especially relate to the feeling she has of not having anyone to turn to: “She was one against the world. It was a lonely desolate feeling—one against an alien mistrustful world” (153). I've felt that way before, and I think it's one of the worst kinds of pain.

I love the presence of Stacy's perceptive best friend Claire. Despite her apparent gawkiness, she has a disarming frankness that makes her a refreshing character. I also enjoyed seeing Beany and Carlton pop up again. Beany seems so nice, and I love how Carl is such a hero. It's a bit of a different side of him then we've seen before. As for Bruce…Stacy really needs to move on.

One of the reasons that I enjoy Weber's writing is because of the "real life" details she weaves in—like Stacy having to fasten her robe with a safety pin because one of the buttons came off (195). It's those relatable details that give her young adult novels such a homey, lived-in feel.

I would rate it between 2 and 3 stars.
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