Dusssie by Nancy Springer


As she reaches puberty, thirteen year-old Dusie is contending with all of the uncertainties of adolescence; fear that she is not brave or kind or wise, fear that she will never be attractive enough, cool enough, lovable enough to deserve that special love for which she longs.
When she awakens one morning to discover that, in place of her hair, she has a headful of snakes, Dusie is horrified. Things only get worse when she learns that her mother, Euryale, is not human but rather a gorgon, an immortal creature of Greek mythology, and that she, like Dusie and her dead sister, Medusa, has been cursed by the goddess Athena with a headful of writhing snakes.
Dusie is not comforted by her mother’s exclamations over the beautiful colours of her snakes, nor by her assurance that none of them is poisonous, in fact she cannot bear even to touch them. Just when things seem like they cannot get worse, Dusie realizes that she can hear her snakes talking and that they can read her every thought.
Dusie tries to cover her head and carry on with her life, but the snakes, and her new gorgon talents make a normal life impossible. Disaster strikes when Dusie gets cornered by a friend who is overly curious about her new look, and she must contend with the results of her actions.
At first, Dusie is furious with her mother, who has lied to her about her background and failed to prepare her for its challenges. She is determined to find a way to rid herself of her snakes and reclaim her life, but her snakes have other plans for Dusie, ones that will be immeasurably more difficult and more rewarding.
Dusssie, by Nancy Springer, is a story about adolescence and learning to true to yourself. Among the lessons Dusie learns to trust herself, to be herself, and that, before someone else can love you, you must love yourself. A wonderful story.
FernFolio Editor

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