Other Bells for Us to Ring

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Other Bells for Us to Ring
Robert Cormier - Other Bells for Us to Ring.jpeg
Author Robert Cormier
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult literature
Publisher Dell Laurel-Leaf, Random House Children's Books, Random House
Publication date
1990
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 152
ISBN ISBN 0-440-22862-X
OCLC 45289120

Other Bells for Us to Ring (1990) is the U.S. author Robert Cormier’s first novel for young readers (10-12 years). Prior to this he published three novels for adults, six novels for teenagers and one volume of short stories for teenagers. The book was published in the United Kingdom in 1991 under the title Darcy. Cormier was successful both in sales and critical acclaim.

Plot introduction[edit]

Eleven-year-old Darcy Webster never had a best friend until her father joined the army, bringing his family to Frenchtown in Monument, near Fort Delta, Massachusetts. There she became friends with Kathleen Mary O'Hara.

Darcy had always been a Unitarian. That is until Kathleen Mary sprinkled her with holy water declaring, "Now you're a Catholic, Darcy Webster. Forever and ever, world without end, Amen." Darcy never had a chance to ask Kathleen Mary if she was joking, because Kathleen Mary's father went on a rampage, sending him to jail, and splitting up the O'Hara family.

Darcy struggled with her religion, whether a little bit of holy water and a declaration by an eleven-year-old could turn her Catholic, and what to do, how to pray, and whether God really exists or not. Things became more complicated when a letter came home to Darcy and her mother stating that Mr. Webster was missing in action.

Characters[edit]

  • Darcy Webster - A shy eleven-year-old girl struggling to grow up and find her beliefs about life and religion in the midst of a war.
  • William Webster - Darcy's father, a recovering alcoholic, an engineer, and a U.S. soldier that built bridges and went missing in action after he and his fellow soldiers were bombed.
  • Abby Webster - Darcy's mother, who has migraines.
  • Kathleen Mary O'Hara - An eleven-year-old Irish girl and Darcy's best friend who takes her on adventures and shows her the world of Catholicism.
  • John Francis O'Hara - Kathleen Mary's fifteen-year-old brother and her "protector."
  • Mr. O'Hara - Kathleen Mary's father, a raging alcoholic who can't join the army due to a leg injury.
  • Sister Angela - The high Catholic nun Kathleen Mary watches pray for people on weekends. Darcy visited Sister Angela when she, Darcy, became desperate about her father when he'd gone missing.
  • The LeBlancs - The Webster's French neighbours. Mrs. LeBlanc doesn't speak English, but Mr. LeBlanc translates for her. They comfort Darcy and her mother while Mr. Webster is at war and missing in action.