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Ferris Beach Paperback – September 22, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books; Reprint edition (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565129318
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565129313
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,369,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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,
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This coming-of-age novel packs a surprising punch.
Jonathan Groner
Even though i was disappointed at the ending, i did nevertheless stay up until 3am to finish the story.
mztup@hotmail.com
The characters are unrealistic, the story jumps pointlessly around, and nothing makes much sense.
Scout

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Moseley on July 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Reviewer- Ashley from Franklin, TN nited States This book focuses on the life of a girl in Southern North Carolina. Her mother, a well-cultured woman from Boston, tries to make the girl Kate have the kind of lifestyle that she had. Her father, a layed-back easy-going man, lets Kate choose whichever lifestyle she wishes to have. This book is full of pain and sadness; heartache and happiness. I recommend this book to teenagers, as a teenager, I feel I can relate to it and hope that others who read this book will also like it and relate to it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book Review of Ferris Beach by Jill McCorkle
Ferris Beach is a book that is filled with many details of the characteristics of a small-town. It gives an intimate portrait of each character and their personality. The novel takes place in the south in the 1970's during a time of change. The young girl in the book reveals several details about her family and friends whom she is very close to. The reader can easily become attached to the characters by using a vivid imagination, which allows them to relate personally from their own experiences. The author, Jill McCorkle, touched on every subject that could possibly affect any person who reads it. Kate, whom some would call the heroine of the novel, was at an age where everything in her life could have a lasting effect. She was very impressionable. Her immediate family and her distant relatives could be considered opposites, but Kate loved them all. She was cought in a tug-of-war between what her gut feelings compelled her to do, and doing what she knew would be the right thing. That is something very hard to deal with. There are also friends and neighbor's who contribute the uneasy atmosphere of the community. There are a few twists and turns in the story which capture the reader even more intensely. This story can make the reader sad, or be cheery at the same time. Jill McCorkle has a way with words which allows the reader to feel those emotions. Many have said that she is the finest writer, not just in the south, but anywhere. She is real and authentic with her writing. She expresses real situations, real emotions, and real human nature. The characterizations in Ferris Beach are very well developed and may sometimes resemble someone we know. All of these aspects summarize why this is a great book to read and recommend to others.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first time I read this book I was still young, but I loved it. The way Jill McCorkle potrays each character so realisticly is amazing and wonderful at the same time. This is my tenth time reading it and each time I read it it gets better and better. I recommened this book to anyone who loves realistic fiction storys that make you feel like you see the characters to the supermarket tomarrow. I was touched the way I could relate to the main character (Kate). Please take time to read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Seattle_reader on December 24, 1998
Format: Turtleback
Kate and Misty are best friends who are on the fringes of their school's social arena, but there is no feeling that they stick together only because they can't find anyone else. They are true best friends who enjoy each other's company.
Kate has a large red birthmark on her face that she is extremely self-conscious and shy about.
There is a mystery about Kate's beautiful cousin Angela, that never really gets resolved. Angela's mother died while giving birth to Angela, and Kate's father Fred (who is Angela's uncle) and his mother raised Angela. Angela's mother never said who the father was. (One of the other readers thought it might have been Fred himself, whis is an intriguing thought and made me go back and read the book with a new eye.)
Angela is the right age to be Kate's mother if she'd have had her at age seventeen, which causes much speculation and yearning on the part of Kate, who feels stifled by her much older and old-fashioned mother. It always seemed to me that Fred was in love with Angela, who is young and beautiful. Certain his plain, dowdy wife Cleva seems to be jealous and insecure when Angela is around. Kate yearns to be as beautiful as Angela. Misty's mother is a great beauty. Much of the story seems to center on Kate's yearning for physical beauty and the lives of those who both have it and lack it, but eventually Kate learns a more balanced view of this. The beautiful women seem to have as hard a time with their love relationships as the plainer ones do.
This story takes place in the South in the 1970s, when there was a huge gap between the old ways and the new. Bigotry is touched on in several places.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Scout on October 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on the half dozen good reviews posted here on amazon.com. After getting a third of the way through the book, I am confident that the people who wrote these shining reviews are either friends of the author or teenagers.

I can't imagine what the point of this book is. Nothing happens! The characters are unrealistic, the story jumps pointlessly around, and nothing makes much sense. But by far the most annoying thing about this book is the author's constant use of italics. Every page contains one or more words in italic type and for the life of me I can't figure out why. The occasional italicized word for emphasis would be acceptable. But why so many?

I won't even mention the typos (of which there are many).

I'm terribly disappointed by this "novel" and will delete it from my Kindle. What a hot mess.
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