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'Rarely has emotional turbulence been so delicately conveyed,' said The New York Times of Carson McCullers's achingly real ...
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'Rarely has emotional turbulence been so delicately conveyed,' said The New York Times of Carson McCullers's achingly real novel about Frankie Addams, a bored twelve-year-old madly jealous of her brother's impending marriage. Frankie was afraid of the dark and envious of the older girls. But as F. Jasmine, in a pink dress, she looked sixteen. No longer a child, she accepted a date with a red-haired soldier and purchased a sophisticated gown for the wedding. F. Jasmine had plans.
Posted June 24, 2005
How many 24-year-olds could write a novel like this today? Having read 'February House,' an account of the year 1940 in which McCullers moved into a house in Brooklyn with W. H. Auden, Paul and Jane Bowles, Gypsy Rose Lee and other famous artists of the time, my book club decided to read everything that had been written in the house during that year. Carson's work was perhaps the most astonishing. Nervous as she was about following up on the great success of her debut novel, 'The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter,' she dived right into this very different story of a young girl coming of age in Georgia and yearning to meld her own identity with that of her grown brother and his fiancee as they married. Her novel was influenced by the poet Auden's lectures on literature every night, by the stories she overheard her housemates telling, and by her own desire to surpass the unexpected triumph of her first novel. McCullers is a true treasure of American literary history, neglected until recently. Even if this book isn't your favorite of all she wrote, it's certainly worth reading, not only as a work of art but as an example of a young writer challenging herself to the limit of her abilities. Highly recommended.
10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 21, 2009
This book is about a girl named Franie. One day Frankie finds out that her brother is getting married. Her brother, Jarvis, is in service. He is stationed in Alaska. Frankie has always wanted to go to Alaska. She gets an idea that when she goes to the wedding she is going to go on the honeymoon with her brother and his wife. Frankie does not like where she lives because she is always bored and lonely. Her only friends are her maid, Berenice, and her coursin, John Henry. Shes tall and feels like shes a freak. All Frankie does is stay in the kitchen with John Henry and Berenice. She then decides that she wants her name to be Jasmine because her brother and his fiance's names both begin with j's. So her new name is F. Jasmine. The day before the wedding she goes out into town and looking for people to tell her plan of leaving to. She then meets a soldier and they go out for drinks. He then asks her on another date. She goes to see Big Mama and asks for her fortune which is that she will attend a wedding, that there will be a journey, and that there will be a return. On their second date the soldier buys her drinks and then asks her if she'll go ot his hotel room. She goes and he trys to kiss her but instead she bites his tounge and hits him in the head with a pitcher. She then wonders if she killed him but she decideds to leave. F. Jasmine changes her name to Frances. The day of the wedding her brother and his wife leave without her. Big Mama's fortune was right. She goes home and then trys to run away. Frances got caught by the police and she got picked up by her dad. She meets a new friend named Mary Littlejohn and they both have the dream dream, traveling the world. John Henry died of meningitis after having it for ten days. Frances recieves a letter from her brother saying that he is in Luxembourg.
5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 30, 2005
This book is a great coming of age story centered around a tomboy named Frankie Addams. In her attempts to find her place in the adult world, Frankie searches for ways to grow up, changing her childish name to F. Jasmine and then Frances. The entire novel takes place within two days in August, and Frankie feels acutley aware of this turning part in her life- saying she can divide her existence into three parts: the past, the immediate present, and the future with her brother and his bride- when she is a member of the wedding. She hungers so desperately to become a member of the wedding because she is experiencing a sense of being alone and disconnected from others. She is at a turning point in her life, and will mature greatly by the end of the novel. This story takes on lofty themes including invisible divisions between people, that affect both Frankie and her caretaker Bernice, an African American over 40 year old woman who envisions a world without race. This novel is a good read for those who can look past the simple events and plot to uncover the substantive thematic implications of Frankie's story. Set in the 1940's, Carson McCuller's story The Member of the Wedding is still relevant today.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 1, 2005
What else is there to say? A young teenage girl going through a time in her life where she questions her very own existance to why she is there. Death wasn't even an answer. One thing was for sure, John Henry will no longer be there for Frankie.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 11, 2011
When I read Carson McCullers my minds eye is actually watching a Tennessee William's play. "It happened that green and crazy summer when Frankie was twelve years old. This was a summer when for a long time she had not been a member. She belonged to no club and was a member of nothing in the world. Frankie had become an unjoined person who hung around in doorways, and she was afraid." Frances (Frankie) Addams is at the age where she is moving from childhood to adolescence. At 12 and 5/6s she has grown too tall, has chopped off her hair, and has been kicked from the safety of her papa's bed to hers in her own hot room. Her best friend has moved to Florida. With no friends other than the Addams' cook, Berenice, and her six year- old cousin, John Henry for company, Frankie has become mean and bored as well as frightened. She wants desperately to leave her life and town behind. Her solution: her brother's upcoming nuptials. She will become a member of the wedding and leave with Jarvis and Janice on their honeymoon, never returning thinking: "they are the we of me." Frankie even changes her name to F. Jasmine Addams to further her thought of "we." Much as her over-working imagination, Frankie dissolves into her grand plan. Berenice warns her that "three is a crowd" but Frankie ignores the gentle warning. She wanders through town making "connections" with the people to whom she tells her great plan. But as with all best laid plans, Frankie is crushed when the bride and groom don't take her with them. She comes home never speaking of the wedding and runs away taking only a suitcase and her papa's pistol. She ends up at the Blue Moon Cafe where she had a frightening past encounter with a soldier who in a drunken stupor mistakenly assumes Frankie is much older than she is. The sheriff finds her and brings her home. Home three months after the wedding is no longer the comfort as it was for Frankie. Changes, not all positive, await Frances Addams. McCullers disjointed prose captures Frankie's fragmented imagination to her own reality well. Though sensitive, McCullers' novel is dark with some adult themes. Maybe it had to be this way but I do not think an astute reader will think this is her best work nor should be considered a Young Adult novel.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 4, 2004
I personally thought the book was very boring. It had nothing in it that would interest me. I think you should have put a boy in it or something. The author should have not described every little thing. You described the kitchen in the beginning of the book, and the author wrote a whole part of the book on just the kitchen. That's all!
2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 12, 2013
Posted February 5, 2004
It is a great book illustrating the awkwardness and weirdness associated from the transition from childhood to adolescent. Even though the character Frankie is a strange character, I feel I can relate to her. I think you'll most enjoy this book if you look below the surface of things. I loved the subtle symbolism/foreshadowings in it. A very interesting book.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 2, 2003
This book lacks everything needed for an enjoyable read...the only two actions that happen in the book are downplayed into a sentence or two each. McCullers writes some good books, but this isn't one of them.
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Posted February 27, 2014
I would rate this book with no stars but thats not possible. This book is awful. I had to read it for class and I highly dont recommend it. Every little detail is explained. Frankie is some emotional depressed little girl who obviously has some deep emotional issues..... this book is so bad my old teacher from last year decided his next class wasnt going to read it (because it was so bad) even though it was one of the books we were suppos eto absolutely readWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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