"A beautiful coming of age tale"
In 1961, her military rigid father informs thirteen-year-
old Katie Nash that since she is now grown up she needs
employment during the summer. Katie thinks of obtaining a
job at a nearby concession stand, but her dad must not
believe she is that grown up because he arranges her work.
She is to help the elderly Randolphs and to baby sit the
Wexler males spawned in hell. Katie's opinion is
interpreted as sassy talking back further proving how grown
up her father feels his daughter is.
A trip to Texas to visit her former best friend turns into
a disaster as both have moved on different paths since they
last saw one another. Back home, the mother of her friend
Cynthia, forces Katie to join the local scouts. Katie
believes she is now a member of a the loser's club. As the
summer of her discontent moves towards the beginning of the
school year, Katie learns the meaning of friendship at a
high cost with only her stepmother as her ally.
TRUE TO FORM is an engaging coming of age character study
that focuses on an adolescent's struggle with changes in
her life forces her to look inside herself. The story line
is breezy yet poignant, not an easy feat but accomplished
by talented Elizabeth Berg. The author keeps life's
lessons lighthearted for the reader, but deep and angst-
laden for the lead protagonist, who is the puissant key to
an effective, entertaining elucidation on maturing.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted May 14, 2002
It is 1961, and thirteen-year-old Katie is facing a summer
full of conflict. First, instead of letting her find her
own work for the season, Katie's father has arranged for
two less-than-ideal baby-sitting jobs -- one for the
rambunctious Wexler boys and another for Mrs. Randolph, a
kind but elderly, bed-ridden neighbor. To make matters
worse, Katie has been forcibly inducted into the "loser"
Girl Scout troop organized by her only friend Cynthia's
controlling and clueless mother. A much-anticipated visit
to her former home in Texas and ex-best friend Cherylanne
proves disappointing. And then comes an act of betrayal
that leaves Katie questioning her views on friendship, on
her ability not to take those she loves for granted, and,
most important, on herself. "One thing to say about you,
Katie, is that you are true. You should be proud of it, and
don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise," Cherylanne
insists. But whether or not Katie will ever feel true to
herself remains to be seen.
From the writer whose work The New Yorker calls "strong"
and "timeless," True to Form is a delicately told tale of a
young girl wise beyond her years, whose growing pains
finally awaken her to the clarity of forgiveness and a
greater understanding of the complicated world around her.
Full of the anguish and the joys of adolescence in a much
more innocent time, True to Form is sure to make readers
remember and reflect on their own moments of discovery and