M E and Morton
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Mary Ella (M E), a teenaged American, has a slow-learning brother, Morton. Initially, she is callous towards him and embarrassed by his slowness. Only after an accident which leaves Morton in a coma do M E and her parents really begin to understand and respect him. Although there is some memorable detailed description of surroundings and equally effective drawing of Mary Ella's outlook on the world, this is a rather laborious read. The detail is exhaustive in quantity and Mary's egocentric outlook alienates the reader; her fantasy games seem inappropriate to a fourteen-year-old. Consequently it is difficult to imagine a reader who would persevere to savour the moving final section. This is, and seems, a long book which, with prudent editing, could have created a sharper impact.