Saturday, 18 November 2006

Stella Star, Brigid Feehan, 2005

STELLA STAR by Brigid Feehan, Scholastic, Auckland, New Zealand, 2005, 203 pages, paperback, NZ$16.99. ISBN 1-86943-674-1

Winner of the Tom Fitzgibbon Award, this engaging first novel introduces a teenage writer, known to her father as Stella Star. While the play Stella has written for a family holiday performance may be an unintentionally hilarious melodrama, her account of growing up in Island Bay is witty and readable.
Stella may finds her father’s jokes irritating but she knows she is loved by her parents and appreciates her best friend Jonathan’s need to have his parents care about him. While she can direct family and friends actors on stage, Stella finds it trickier sorting out people’s real-life problems. Jonathan’s disappearance creates a crisis but Stella’s insight helps solve the mystery and all turns out well on the night.
An excellent character-driven story.
Trevor Agnew
First published in The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand, 0n September 3rd 2005.

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