Publishers Weekly reviews When Fenelon Falls

When Fenelon Falls
Publishers Weekly
October 10 2010

'In the summer of ‘69, Jordan May March, a young disabled teenager, feels like an outcast among her extended adoptive family. She spends her time studying Top 40 radio and imagining scenarios for her conception and birth involving parents she'll never know. She feels a kinship with a trained bear named Yogi, kept in a cage by a cruel neighbor, and scribbles diary entries about being born into Little Women's March kin, "kidnapped from her bassinet by Southern sympathizers," or becoming the bastard child of John F. Kennedy. These entries affectively reveal a desperately sad young woman seeking her creation story and a sense of belonging. Palmer riddles her novel with colloquialisms the narrator calls "Marchspeak," such as "we knew which side our bread was buttered on and who held the knife," and paints a compelling, at times scattered tale of Jordan's destiny to be "Yogi's savior and the agent... of her demise." She deftly captures the unraveling of a young girl's already fragile psyche, arriving at a late-book reveal that will send some readers running back to page one.'

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