Plummer, Louise. A Dance For Three. Delacorte, 2000. ISBN 0-385-32511-8. $15.95. 230 pp. A 9+ FI?? Reviewed by Gabi Kupitz Fifteen-year-old Hannah Ziebarth is pregnant. Milo Fabiano, Hannah’s boyfriend, reacts to the news of his impending fatherhood by punching Hannah in the face and calling her a whore. Later that evening, determined to prove to herself that Milo didn’t mean to be rough with her, Hannah drives to Milo’s neighborhood, where she first sulks around the Fabiano house, then climbs into his 4Runner and takes comfort under a familiar blanket. Milo and his former flame, Mimi, leave the pool area of his home, climb into the 4Runner, and drive to Mimi’s home. Parked away from the streetlight, Milo and Mimi make-out, unaware that Hannah is in the car. Eventually Mimi exits the 4Runner, and Milo drives home. Physically satisfied, Milo parks the car in the garage and closes the door. Alone, Hannah exits the vehicle and makes her way home. Emotionally and physically assaulted, Hannah “goes over the edge.” In the care of a compassionate yet tough psychologist, both Hannah and her widowed, agoraphobic mother make progress in healing. Drawn into the process this psychotic episode has generated are Hannah’s remorseful ecclesiastical leader; her nemesis, neighbor Rosa Benson; friend Trilby; and Milo’s brother Roman, the only Fabiano with clear vision despite an eye impairment. Set in Salt Lake City, the story paints a realistic picture of teenage sex and its consequences. It is also a brutally honest portrayal of children who take on too many adult responsibilities because their parents are non-functioning; of hope amid despair; of repentant teens and adults. And though Hannah’s father is not a physical presence, the love he showered on his wife and daughter, before his untimely death, establishes him as a decent man and good father figure, in contrast to Mr. Fabiano, who is very much a physical, but ethically clueless, presence in his family.
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