Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary by Pamela Dean

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Inspired by a traditional ballad, Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary is the tale of a mysterious young man and three ordinary young girls, of ancient magic and the modern world.

Three sisters live comfortably with their parents: Juniper, 16, who likes cooking and computer chats; Gentian, 13, who likes plays and astronomy; Rosemary, 11, who likes Girl Scouts. Enter Dominic, handsome as the night, quoting poetry, telling riddles, and asking help for a complex and fascinating science project.

Gentian isn't interested at first--she has her own life. But gradually her life, and her time, belong more and more to Dominic and his project, and her father begins to fear that the lad may be more than a charmer. . . .

About Pamela Dean

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Pamela Dean is one of the most respected writers in the fantasy genre. Many acclaimed authors name her books among their favorites.
Published June 1, 1998 by Tor Books. 352 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary

Kirkus Reviews

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New neighbor Dominic Hardy, a tall, dark 15-year-old whom Gentian jokingly refers to as a vampire, speaks in quotations, riddles, and non sequiturs, and asks for Gentian’s help to build a time machine.

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Publishers Weekly

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Fourteen and on the troublesome cusp of adolescence, practical amateur astronomer Gentian turns into Dominic's adoring satellite, losing her cat, her friends and months of her stargazing time to his enigmatic company.

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SF Site

(To give an example, half of the book focuses on Gentian's astronomy but this is never tied in to the main plot of her struggle with the mysterious neighbour.) The ending of the book feels rushed and does not match the style of the previous chapters.

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Fantasy Literature

I’ve read several Pamela Dean books in the past, and so I was prepared for her style;

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Seized by the Tale

This might not be so unusual, except that Dean has gone to great lengths to show Gentian as a young feminist (she and her friends dress up as female scientists and writers for Halloween) and one of the Giant Ants is African-American, so I find it hard to believe that Gentian would tolerate Dom...

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