Roller Skates

Our rating: ****

Lucinda Wyman’s parents are going to Italy for health reasons, leaving ten-year-old Lucinda with two spinsters for a whole year. Lucinda is excited about her “year of orphanage” because she will be allowed to roam the streets of New York City without being tied to a French governess. Her freedom allows her to make many friends, from the poor family in the upstairs apartment to the Italian street vendor.

Roller Skates is wonderful in that Lucinda is given so much freedom to explore and make friends, within bounds of reason, allowing her to come out of the shell imposed on her by her high-class, snooty, and somewhat uncaring family. There is one loose end that is upsetting to Lucinda and to the reader that is never tied up in the end, but most of the story is a good read with no lack of the subtle emotions of a young girl whose feelings have been hidden for so long.