September 6, 2015

Sunday Dreamer by Bob and Jan Young (1962)

The letter from Grandmother Demarest arrived just as Nancy was indulging in her favorite dream--she was living in a new town and people were saying as she passed, "Who is that attractive girl?" Now she and her mother were moving to Cordoba to live her with her wealthy, socially prominent grandmother and she, Nancy, would make her dream come true.

It was easy to adopt the role of a gay and charming sophisticate. She knew the Arcadias would pledge her for their sorority, and it was a heady experience to be liked by Doug Holden, a popular man on campus. Riding on a wave of popularity, she was suddenly shocked to discover that her grandmother was penniless, living on her past glory as a grande dame.

To keep a roof over their heads, Nancy's mother went back to nursing in the small Cordoba Community Hospital and converted Cliff's Edge, the family mansion, into a boardinghouse for nurses. This violated the zoning ordinances, stirred up feelings among new and older residents and, worst of all, Nancy's friends began to avoid her. Confused and hurt, she drew comfort from unexpected sources. She learned to confide in Mark Bonner, a college man who worked as a gardener, and she spent rewarding hours with the Nightingales, a group of volunteer girls at the hospital.

In the midst of her personal problems, Nancy was caught up in the vicious rivalry between Cordoba and Southside, the two local high school. As the tension mounted, both at home and in school, she was forced to choose between Doug and Mark and what they represented in terms of her most cherished beliefs. A tragic accident in Cordoba created chaos in the town, and from the crisis Nancy emerged confident about her future.

This is the story of a sensitive girl, town between two ways of life, who learns in the process of growing up that you prove your worth and maintain your dignity by what you give of yourself to your school, your community, your friends. (from the inside flap)

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