Ferris Beach

Ferris Beach

3.9 29
by Jill McCorkle
     
 

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Ferris Beach is a place where excitement and magic coexist. Or so Mary Katherine "Katie" Burns, the only child of middle-aged Fred and Cleva Burns, believes. Shy and self-conscious, she daydreams about Ferris Beach, where her beautiful cousin, Angela, leads a romantic, mysterious life.

It is the early 1970s, and when the land across the road from the Burns's

Overview

Ferris Beach is a place where excitement and magic coexist. Or so Mary Katherine "Katie" Burns, the only child of middle-aged Fred and Cleva Burns, believes. Shy and self-conscious, she daydreams about Ferris Beach, where her beautiful cousin, Angela, leads a romantic, mysterious life.

It is the early 1970s, and when the land across the road from the Burns's historic house is sold to developers, Misty Rhodes—also from Ferris Beach—and her flamboyant parents move into the nearest newly built split-level. In contrast to Katie’s composed, reserved, practical mother, Misty and her mother are everything Katie wants to be: daring, outrageous, fun. The two girls become inseparable, sharing every secret, every dream—until one fateful Fourth of July, when their lives change in a way they could never have imagined.

In this classic McCorkle novel, the author's shrewd grasp of human nature creates characters that resonate with truth and emotion, and a story perfect for mothers and daughters to share and cherish.

Editorial Reviews

The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Beautiful and inspired . . . Rich with interesting characters." —The Philadelphia Inquirer

Vogue
"Beautiful and inspired . . . Rich with interesting characters." —The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Cincinnati Enquirer
"Delightful . . . A novel about family secrets, identity crises, and mother-daughter standoffs." —Vogue
From the Publisher
"Ferris Beach is believable. And funny. And heartbreaking. But most of all, it's a joy to read." —The Cincinnati Enquirer
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set, like her previous novels, in a small Southern town, this coming-of-age story demonstrates McCorkle's ( Tending to Virginia ) deepening maturity as a writer and a new subtlety of prose and theme. Nine-year-old Kate Burns is acutely aware of the port-wine mark on her face. Chafing under her mother's straitlaced supervision, she yearns to resemble her mysterious, racy older cousin Angela. She envies her best friend, Misty, whose mother, flamboyant, reckless Mo Rhodes, brings an exotic dimension to the neighborhood. During the course of the narrative, which carries Kate through her high school years, McCorkle conveys a child's perceptions of family friction and community tensions, her growing awareness of vulnerability and sadness in adult lives, and her introduction to sexual cruelty and death. Yet McCorkle controls her story with dextrous skill; these events unfold gradually and inevitably from the stream of daily life. Whether portraying the love/hate relationship of best friends, the pangs of an ungainly girl during adolescence or the insult-laden repartee of teenagers attracted to one another, McCorkle illuminates character with ironic humor and empathic insight. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Here is a marvelous follow-up to McCorkle's acclaimed Tending to Virginia ( LJ 9/1/87). From age five, Katie Burns has thought of Ferris Beach, South Carolina, home of her ``foundling'' cousin Angela, as both forbidden and alluring. During the decade covered by this entrancing coming-of-age novel (mid-Sixties to mid-Seventies), many people besides Angela compete for Katie's allegiance. Symbolizing freedom are orange-haired Misty Rhodes, whose mother Mo puts rock gardens on the lawn; Katie's first love Merle Hucks; and--to a certain extent--her father Alfred Tennyson (``Fred'') Burns. In contrast, there are prim Cleva Burns and her tea-giving friend Mrs. Poole, steeped in Southern propriety. Despite tantalizing hints of buried secrets and a few occasions of real tragedy, what predominates is McCorkle's deft comic sense, her keen ear for dialog and eye for detail, and a grab bag of cultural allusions (Barry Sadler; Peter, Paul & Mary) bespeaking a specific time and place. Finally--most movingly--there is the revelation that love often goes deeper in the staid conventional forms than one might sometimes suspect.-- Elise Chase, Forbes Lib., Northampton, Mass.
School Library Journal
YA-- Ferris Beach is where excitement and glamour start--at least that's what Kate thinks as she hears about her cousin Angela who lives there. Kate has had a humdrum, ``normal'' childhood; her conservative mother and humorous father have brought her up ``properly,'' while Angela has had freedom and romance. But even freedom has its dark side, as Kate finds out. This coming-of-age novel is special. The humor, tenderness, sharply defined characters, and a feeling of ``being there'' make the 1970s come alive in the small Southern community depicted.-- Diana C. Hirsch, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, MD

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565129313
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
09/22/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,113,274
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

Jill McCorkle is the author of nine previous books—four story collections and five novels—five of which have been selected as New York Times Notable Books. The recipient of the New England Book Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature, and the North Carolina Prize for Literature, she teaches writing at North Carolina State University and lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Visit her online at www.jillmccorkle.com. 

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Ferris Beach 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I've ever had the pleasure of reading. It's a book simply about life, good and bad. Interesting twists and turns that make it hard to put the book down, and a relationship you actually form with the characters. It's not one of those books you have to relate to in order to enjoy it...I think any female (and maybe some males as well) would adore it. Some parts actually made me laugh out loud, and one part even made me gasp out loud. You don't even have to like reading to fall in love with it. It's just that amazing. =D
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's such a shame that this book is out of print. The premise is deceptively simple, at least at first glance. It is narrated by Kate, who is growing up in 1970's North Carolina. She and the other characters are so well-rendered, so realistic in speech and action, that nothing about this book seems contrived or forced. It gives the reader a look at change and at second chances that come in unexpected and sometimes unwanted ways. It's also about realizing that people and things are not always what they appear. It's about growing up. This is a slower, character-driven novel, both humorous and sad. I think teenagers and adults would enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was very good! I think that the author did a very good job of describing it! The book goes through the life of a girl named Mary Katherine from 2nd grade till the end of high school (I think). On the description on this page, you may think that on the 4th of July one thing happens that changes her life, but that is only the beginning! There are other characters like Merle, Misty, and Angela! Angela is also a interesting character! I think that you will like this book very much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book because the time period is when I grew up. The narrator had the same insecurities that I remember. It hit close to home. Her summer was much more adventuresome than any of mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like it has my name good story
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just did not care for the book, I kept waiting for SOMETHING and nothing ever "grabbed" me about it. It started out ok.....with these two school age girls telling of their lives but I just got really bored with it. I thought there would be something more about who "Angela" was but I was let down by that . I would not recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for Reading Counts! and I thought it was going to be super boring, but when i read it, it turned out to be extremely wonderful! This is a super good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book will bring out the smile and the tears. A very sweet, yet moving novel. I read it twice, with a year in between. I hope to read the book in another year. The second time I read it, I could relate to it so much more than the first. I wonder how much more I can relate to it next year. I definelty recommend it to anyone, young or old.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ferris Beach has been my favortie book since I first read it about a year ago. Since then I've kept reading it when I was in the mood for a good book that makes me cry, laugh, and relate to it. I'd recommend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ile slightly. "Thanks. So are yours!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to the 7th result of beach. Its called angel beach.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can i leave . I HATE powers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?