Young Adult Literature
A Dance for Three
As my two daughters became teenagers and their relationships with boys
became more complicated, they struggled to decode the confusing
cultural signs of romance. Reading Louise Plummer's modern-day novels
of manners helped my daughters walk through the forest of
adolescence. Her voice is like that of a friendly aunt who knows
plenty of stories about love.
The latest in this line of novels is A Dance for Three, the
story of a young woman who is nearly destroyed by her illusions about
the boy she loves. Pregnant and physically abused by him, she
experiences a psychotic break. The narration in three voices is as
sophisticated as Virginia Sorensen's best work; the prose has the
grace and power of poetry.
As Hannah, the protagonist, puzzles over the memory of her own
seduction, readers puzzle with her. By the end of the book the meaning
of the scene is transformed and our ethical outrage is focused. Like
classic writers since the invention of the novel, Plummer unmasks
illusion in the form of dishonesty, exaggeration, and self-deceit. Her
voice is certain and steady, telling young women that they can trust
their heads, trust their ability to judge.