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Book Review - The Steps

by Rachel Cohn
Listening Library, 2003
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Apr 7th 2003

In The Steps, 12-year-old Annabel tells the story of her visit to Australia over the Christmas vacation.  She and her mother Manhattan on the Upper West Side but her father now lives in Sydney with his new family.  Annabel now has many new stepbrothers, stepsisters and half-siblings.  It's no surprise that there are all sorts of resentments and fears bubbling beneath the surface.  Annabel finds that it is quite difficult at first to be close to the children who have stolen her father away, and she hopes that he will return home with her at the end of her visit.  When Annabel becomes upset because people will not do what she wants, she and her stepsister Lucy run away to Melbourne.  Although this is a stupid thing for them to do, it does make them much closer, and all turns out well in the end.  The plot of The Steps is a little thin and Annabel is a rather bland heroine, although she is pleasant enough.  The unabridged audiobook is seriously flawed by reader Caitlin Greer's pitiful attempt at an Australian accent, when even American listeners will probably notice is way off.  This is a moderately entertaining book that raises some of the complex issues occurring in modern families, and there's some nice detail of cultural difference between the USA and Australia.  

 

Link: Publisher's webpage for book.

 

© 2003 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.

 

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