The Rope Walk

The Rope Walk

Large Print - 2007
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"The Rope Walk" brings us the dazzling story of a pivotal summer in the life of Alice, a redheaded tomboy and motherless girl who is beloved and protected by her five older brothers and her widower father, a professor of Shakespeare. On Memorial Day, at her tenth birthday party in the garden of her Vermont village home, Alice meets two people unlike any she' s known before. Theo is a mixed-race New York City kid visiting his white grandparents for the summer. Kenneth is a cosmopolitan artist with AIDS who has come home to convalesce with his middle-aged sister. Alice and Theo form an instant bond and, almost as quickly, find themselves drawn into the orbit of the magisterial Kenneth. When the children begin a daily routine of reading aloud to the artist, who is losing his eyesight, they discover the journals of Lewis and Clark and decide to embark on their own wilderness adventure: they plan and secretly build a " rope walk" through the woods for Kenneth and in the process learn the first of many hard truths about the way adults see the world, no matter that they are often wrong. The great gift of "The Rope Walk" is its exquisitely poised writing. Alice' s narrative is a profound experience of innocence, of perception balanced between childhood and adulthood. The flying spark of new friendship, the first intimation of adult love, the consolation of devotion, which allow Alice and Theo to shed light in the midst of darkness and to find joy in mutual understanding: these glistening threads are drawn together in a timeless story- profound, seductive, wise, and moving, from first to last.
Publisher: Thorndike Pr 2007.
ISBN: 9780786299072
078629907X

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thart Nov 16, 2011

Read for book club (11/2010) at Crystal Lake Public Library. I found this book to be touching, sweet, and introspective. I really enjoyed it!

The main character is Alice, and the novel takes place around Memorial day, her 10th birthday. She is the lone girl in a house with her father, a Shakespeare professor, and 5 older brothers. She is a bit of a tomboy but quite smart and kind. During the summer she meets and becomes friends with a few special people. The first is Theo, a mixed-race boy from NYC, who ends up becoming a good friend of hers after a little time. The second is Kenneth, a "cool" artist who makes nifty mobiles (reminded me of Alexander Calder a bit) and is unfortunately sick and has lost his site.

This brings the three of them together because Alice and Theo end up visiting Kenneth daily to read to him from books, which begins a great friendship and a love for Lewis and Clarke. The two children end up creating a rope walk for Kenneth so he would be able to go for a walk in the woods and not get too close to a dangerous waterfall (where the book title comes from).

You definitely feel a sense of childhood wonder and innocence while reading this book (like Alice dreamily looking at the beautiful mobile in the library). Eventually you see some of the realities of life creep in and how the children have to deal with the mistakes of adults. It is endearing and hopeful though, and I would certainly recommend it to those who enjoy a good story!

thart Nov 16, 2011

Read for book club (11/2010) at Crystal Lake Public Library. I found this book to be touching, sweet, and introspective. I really enjoyed it!

The main character is Alice, and the novel takes place around Memorial day, her 10th birthday. She is the lone girl in a house with her father, a Shakespeare professor, and 5 older brothers. She is a bit of a tomboy but quite smart and kind. During the summer she meets and becomes friends with a few special people. The first is Theo, a mixed-race boy from NYC, who ends up becoming a good friend of hers after a little time. The second is Kenneth, a "cool" artist who makes nifty mobiles (reminded me of Alexander Calder a bit) and is unfortunately sick and has lost his site.

This brings the three of them together because Alice and Theo end up visiting Kenneth daily to read to him from books, which begins a great friendship and a love for Lewis and Clarke. The two children end up creating a rope walk for Kenneth so he would be able to go for a walk in the woods and not get too close to a dangerous waterfall (where the book title comes from).

You definitely feel a sense of childhood wonder and innocence while reading this book (like Alice dreamily looking at the beautiful mobile in the library). Eventually you see some of the realities of life creep in and how the children have to deal with the mistakes of adults. It is endearing and hopeful though, and I would certainly recommend it to those who enjoy a good story!

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