professornana (professornana) wrote,

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oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive

Is that from Shakespeare? It is Sunday afternoon and I am not certain. It seems to me it comes from HAMLET. In any event, it is something that came to mind as I read the new novel by Dana Reinhardt (A BRIEF CHAPTER IN MY IMPOSSIBLE LIFE) called HARMLESS. Emma and Anna have been nest friends for years. Now Mariah becomes part of the pair's lives. Mariah, the new girl who has a "reputation." The one dating someone from the public school and not ODS where everyone is in preppy uniforms. Mariah inserts a big of danger into the predictable lives of Emma and Anna. They hang out with her and even go to a couple of parties. Unfortunately, one night they get busted when Emma's mother calls her on the cell asking where she is: she is not where she is supposed to be. So, the girls create one little lie, a harmless one surely. However, this is one lie with repercussions akin to lobbing a boulder into a shallow lake. Before long, the lie has taken hold of their lives and pointed them all in different directions. Is there any way out?

Reinhardt, as in her previous novel, does not make things all neat and tody for her main characters. They struggle. They fail. They struggle some more. All we are left with is a sense of hope that they will arrive at the other end of all their struggles intact and perhaps better for the struggle. Told from the perspectives of all three girls in alternating chapters, Reinhardt offers some real insight into the hearts, minds, and emotions of adolescent girls who hover on a sharp edge between childhood and young adulthood.

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