Ferris Beach by Jill McCorkle, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Ferris Beach

Ferris Beach

3.9 29
by Jill McCorkle
     
 

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Richly detailed and brimming with colorful small-town characters, FERRIS BEACH is the story of the changing south in the 1970s.

Kate, daughter of Cleve and Alfred Tennyson Burns, is at a stage of life when everything is both wonderful and terrible. She's also caught in a kind of tug-of-war for her spirit, a contest between her prim and sensible mother and her

Overview

Richly detailed and brimming with colorful small-town characters, FERRIS BEACH is the story of the changing south in the 1970s.

Kate, daughter of Cleve and Alfred Tennyson Burns, is at a stage of life when everything is both wonderful and terrible. She's also caught in a kind of tug-of-war for her spirit, a contest between her prim and sensible mother and her beautiful reckless cousin, Angela.

Angela lives by the ocean, across the coastal plain, at a place called Ferris Beach. Angela is everything that Cleve Burns is not -- imaginative and untethered as the wind. On one side, Kate faces the pull of reason and safety and on the other the lure of romance, mystery and danger.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780833593276
Publisher:
San Val, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/28/1991
Edition description:
11200 San Val
Product dimensions:
4.32(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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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