Papas and Nellie Press
The Criminal Life Of Effie O.: an entertainment
illustrations by Virginia Beverley
Set in the conflicted eighties the story recounts the intertwined journeys of self-discovery of preteen Effie O’Reilly and her lonely, loving mother Janet. A single mom and former flower child, Janet has fought her way up from the precarious countercultural seventies to an executive career and a house in an upscale gated subdivision bland enough to shield her child from any whiff of that risky past. But subversive artistic Effie wants something more. And so one day she rebels, throwing her school into hilarious chaos, and runs away for a long day in the city, where she gets a taste of life on the edge. The tumult, the street people, the teeming eventfulness of inner-city life, all call to her with news of something other.
What that is and how Effie and Janet each in her own way finds it in the course of an eventful and uproarious year is the story told by this unusual novel.
And it tells it at breakneck speed in an energetic loose-jointed rhyming verse that veers easily from Shel Silverstein-like jingles to melancholic passages of great poetic beauty. The book can be read – preferably aloud – in a couple of hours. Broadly comical and satiric, unabashedly sentimental, and at the same time savvy and gritty, it is one to be read again and again.
If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A