LITERATURE: BASS 2007 – Allegiance

This short story by Aryn Kyle starts out with immediate tension, one that is well known and understood in some form by most readers: change, leaving the comfort of the known to be the new member of an already established group.  There is more at work here though for Glynnis, in getting used to a new school; she is from England and the switch to American ways compounds the necessary adjustments.  And there is something more insidious in the strained relationship between her parents.  Her mother is pretty much a whack job and Glynnis is heavily influenced by her.

Kyle draws a very compelling picture of Glynnis’ unstable mother, the relationships between friends and lovers, and the manipulative people in our lives who we too often compromise our values to please.  This is the case with Glynnis as she turns on a weaker classmate in order to salvage her own status.  We truly hope that at the last minute she will realize what she is doing and in fact as she realizes her mother’s problems are deeper and damaging than imagined, Glynnis makes some unexpected choices.

Very nicely written, enough action and tension to hold our interest even as the main theme of pleasing others and crossing that line between what we know is right and wrong is the focus of the story.

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