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Book Review of Reversal by Eric Linne: Shelbyville News March 28, 2014

Reversal by Eric Linne Book Review in Shelbyville News

The article was submitted by Carolyn Statler of Three Sisters Books and Gifts:

“Some of you may know Eric Linne, a former Shelbyville resident.  He is the author of a new book, Reversal.  The target audience is young adult/teen and the protagonist is a fourteen-year-old girl.  However, as many of you have discovered, our young adult section is a place to find many great books that adults will enjoy.  Reversal is one of those books.

Reversal is the story of Kayla who has experienced a tragic loss when her parents are killed in an automobile accident.  The closest family she has is a cousin of her father’s who agrees to take her in.  This is not a family she knows well and a family already strapped for money and three children of their own.  Moving to their home also entails leaving Chicago where she has always lived and taking up residence in the attic of her new home in the little fictional town of Sheffield, Indiana.  Consumed by grief and anger, Kayla is having a great deal of trouble adjusting to her new life.

The story begins in a sort of “Cinderella” fashion.  Kayla is given an unfinished attic room which was never intended to be a bedroom complete with a pull-down ladder to reach it.  She is given many chores including feeding two ferocious dogs.  The two older children seem to dislike her heartily (although the youngest seems to like her a lot) and her sort-of step-mother appears to be constantly annoyed at Kayla’s very presence.  Add to the pressures at home are the pressures of being a new kid at school, especially when you resent being there at all.

Linne does a wonderful job of portraying life in a small Midwestern high school.  You can almost experience the sounds and smells.  Nothing ever quite smells like a school.  Linne also captures the character of Kayla as she moves from grief and resentment to healing and acceptance.  One of the points that LInne makes more than once which should be helpful to teen readers is that there are always some adults at any school who are willing to listen and truly want to help.  I think the story is realistic in that Kayla does not want to ask for help and is most reluctant to accept it when it is offered.  Linne has sympathetically and with amazing understanding given voice to a fourteen-year-old girl.

Local readers will enjoy the many direct and oblique references to Shelbyville and Shelby County.  I will leave it to readers to discover those references themselves.

Linne has bachelor’s degree in English from Indiana University and master’s degree from the University of North Carolina.  H e has been a consultant for community health centers and director of home care for the American Hospital Association.  He wrote a screen play, The Bears of Blue River, based on the book of the same title.  Reversal grew out of his Master’s thesis in children’s literature.

Linne will be signing his book at Three Sisters Books & Gifts, 7 Public Square, this Saturday, March 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Please stop in to greet him and buy a copy of his book.  Reversal is published by CreateSpace and retails for $13.99.”