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The Rainbow Singer    by Simon Kerr order for
Rainbow Singer
by Simon Kerr
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2002 (2002)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Simon Kerr is a consummate storyteller. One can almost feel fourteen-year-old Protestant Wil Carson's emotions as he battles his way through being born and raised to hate Taigs (Catholics) in Northern Ireland. Wil is sent to Milwaukee with a group of kids - both Catholic and Protestant - as part of an effort to foster unity between the two religious communities. Events turn sour almost at the outset. Spurned advances by a Taig girl lead to all out warfare and, ultimately, tragedy.

Wil is left to a lifetime, in which he works to unearth his true feelings and the reasons he is where he is. He feels that we are strongly defined as a product of our parents, and their parents before them, and so on back to the beginning of time. Wil wrestles with the teachings of his parents and their effect on his life. Kerr undoubtedly remembers his own adolescence as he depicts Wil's so clearly for the reader.

The Rainbow Singer is a story that will linger in your mind long after you have read the last page.

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