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.
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.