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Feather Crowns Paperback – June 3, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (June 3, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060925493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060925499
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,028,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A young Kentucky farm couple becomes a center of public attention after giving birth to quintuplets in Mason's acclaimed novel.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-Early in the cold dark spring of 1900, when, according to apocalyptic prediction, the world is about to be destroyed by earthquake, a miracle occurs instead. In the backwoods of Kentucky, a farmwife gives birth to five healthy, well-formed babies-quintuplets, the first recorded in the U.S. From then on her life, and her family's, are never the same, as the world troops to her door to witness this grand spectacle. Or is it a freak show? This is a book about love, the journey of life, and the unsought miracles that transform human existence. Its voice and ambiance are authentic; appreciative readers will savor the lovely old words and the quaint ideas of another time, along with the unlovely, harsh practices of superstition, ignorance, and greed. Christie Wheeler's story is historical fiction at its warmest, fiercest, and most intimate. This moving novel will enrich any student's knowledge of American folklore, folklife, and social history.
Marya Andreen, R.E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "noznabuk" on January 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
A wonderful story of a family struggling with the overwhelming consequences that result from becoming parents of quintuplets at the turn-of-the-century. The births cause a nationwide sensation and send hundreds of strangers (sometimes by the trainload) into their simple home to witness the "miracles." The babies bring Christie and James much pride, and Christie even revels in the attention. But it is short-term. The story then turns to examine the effects of grief. Christie and James become distant with one another and their large, supportive family. They set out on a lecture tour. James' purpose in the tour is to raise money to pay debts; Christie's is to educate the public. The tour turns side-show in nature and, yet, serves to bring the couple to terms with their grief.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read "Feather Crowns" a few years ago, and I recommend it to anyone who is absorbed in fears about the whole Y2K situation. I remember thinking when reading the book how sad it was that people were so ignorant and fearful of the arrival of a new century, and how the birth and death of these five babies held such excessive meaning to the people of Kentucky in 1900.
I tell people to read this book when they talk about storing away great amounts of food, fuel and cash for the coming of the millenium. I hope that we, too, are not looked upon in 100 years as ignorant and putting too much emphasis on the mere turning of a calendar page.
"Feather Crowns" was a good example of how fragile the human mind is when it comes to dealing with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Common sense doesn't always win out over superstition and fear.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 28, 1996
Format: Paperback
Feather Crowns is a memorable novel that made me feel I had been transported to the Kentucky of 1900.
I highly recommend it as an accurate "slice of life" as well as the story of a remarkable woman. The
subject matter, the birth of quintuplets, is both the central theme and yet could be any unusual event
in an individual's life. The language used is what one would expect to hear from the characters of that time,
much as Twain's language in Huck Finn. I congratulate Bobbie Ann Mason for an outstanding book
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
Although this book is admirable for its accurate and realistic recreation of turn-of-the-century Kentucky and the vivid characterization of Christie Wheeler, the book ultimately is unsatisfying because it progresses at such a slow pace and only sporadically engages the reader's interest. Furthermore, the book's concluding sections are especially weak. They lack depth, development and seem rather disjointed from the rest of the novel, which is highly detailed and complete.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By karistim on July 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
3-3.5 stars

This did not turn out anything like what I had expected after reading the first 200 pages. It was interesting for its detail of locations and time and the day-to-day life of poor farmers but I don't plan to read anything else by this author. As others have said, the end was sudden and disjointed from the rest, especially after seeing such detail and slow development over a period of a year or so for the rest of the book. At times I was just exasperated while reading, wondering if it was going to get anywhere.
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By Lesley West on January 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting story of the early notoriety and heartbreak that surrounded the family of North America's first live birth quins, and an equally interesting study of how everyday people can be drawn into the excitement and tragedy of such an event. Descriptions of the times and early media interest are well done, but as the book progresses and the family sinks into tragedy, I feel the story loses some of its impact, and I struggled to finish the story.
This is not to say that the characters are unsympathetic, or that the reader cannot identify with their plight, but more that as they struggle to deal with their lives, interest in their lives begins to wane.
Sheri Holman's "The Mammoth Cheese" deals with a similar topic in modern times, but is by far the better book in my opinion.
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By A Customer on August 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
Feather Crowns is about motherhood and discovery -- actually motherhood as a vehicle for discovery. It is wonderful. In addition to its interesting and successfully presented theme, Feather Crowns demonstrates accurate dialect and dialogue. Christie sounds just like my grandmother of the same time and place. Bobbie Ann Mason understands the Southern female and the transformations we experience. I love her work.
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By A Customer on June 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Feather Crowns" is a wonderful read for both it's story of Christianna Wheeler and her family and it's historic content. The book was both intruguing and entertaining as it painted a picture of life at the turn of the century and the hardships of trying to raise a family during that time. I strongly recommend this book if you enjoy reading southern genres and enjoy looking into the past.
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