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… See more details below

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.


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Editorial Reviews

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
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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565129641
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date:
09/22/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
395,601
File size:
3 MB

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