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This is Graceanne's Book

4.8 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (1999)
  • ASIN: B002B1QG68
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Sometimes the most profound things are very complex and sometimes they are very simple. This is a simple story about complex human beings who appear simple. Confusing? Not very. I urge you to read this story about a mid-western family hurting in every place imaginable but which still manages to move into parts of the human heart where few of us have the nerve to go. There are scenes of such poignance that you will put the book down and reflect with your eyes closed as you feel what the characters are feeling. I finished the book about a week ago, and I find myself thinking about what Graceanne did on the other side of the bridge and wondering why Charlie never saw his sister Kentucky again. Did Edie ever get herself straightened out? The story stays with you and I will be thinking about it for a long time. It will be on my bookshelf in the section reserved for the very special. It is very simply, a wonderful book and although the story has ended, I wish the Farrand family the very best.
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Format: Paperback
Told from the vantage point of young Charlie Farrand, you'll find yourself in love with him & his older sister Graceanne in no time. Growing up poor in the Midwest in the 1960's, the kids of Cranespool Landing have fun the good old-fashioned way by playing in the muddy river, playing ramped up versions of hide & seek and the like. Despite growing up in a troubled household the Farrand children manage to have fun, create their own excitement and love one another. This novel is about the resiliency of the human spirit and about how strong the bonds of love between siblings can run. A balance of humor and heartbreak, it will have you laughing & crying. Charlie's unconditional love for his sister Graceanne is so pure & touching you'll wish you could wrap your arms around them both.
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Format: Paperback
The first time I read "This is Graceanne's Book,"
I did so without pausing. When I closed the
book's cover at four in the morning, I knew that
I had just been privileged to experience a tale
of American literature that will remain in my
heart and my mind's eye forever.
The second time I read the novel, I found myself
poring over the chapters -- absorbing the beauty
of Whitney's vivid settings and inventive dialogue.
I treated myself to a few chapters each day, wanting
to prolong my reunion with the lovable and precocious
Charlie (the boy narrator) and his irrepressible yet
noble sister Graceanne.
Whitney archived a time in American history when
women struggled for financial independence; society
struggled with racial issues; and children struggled
to remain out of crossfire of their elders.
The kids of Cranepool's Landing didn't have television,
they had something far greater: imagination, and a gritty
determination to puzzle through life's mysteries on their
own terms, using their own self-taught codes of honor.
Charlie, Graceanne, Wanda, Kentucky, and Collier
will win your heart as Jem, Dil and Scout did in
"To Kill a Mockingbird."
Reading "This is Graceanne's Book" gives you an insight
into the American experience that should not be overlooked.
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By A Customer on March 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Graceanne Farrand of Cranepool's Landing, Missouri, has a lot on her mind. And you'd better pay attention or else she'll "...whale you within an inch of your life...". It is 1960 again, and while the Mississippi is wreaking havoc by flooding its banks, it becomes a mere play-toy for the children of the town. Graceanne's younger brother Charlie, is the outsider in us all, watching with wonder how his sister moves through this world, in her magical way. This world becomes more real and unreal, with every passing page. Charlie Farrand is no fool himself, and he observes for us the most interesting event in town; an event called Graceanne. He watches her behave in ways that always intrigue and fascinate, until his world, is her world. And I was lucky enough to be along for the ride. In seeing her gifts and feeling her burdens, he must travel a road of discovery for himself, in attempting to grasp the plights of his remarkable sister. In this town, with this girl, the imagination is limitless, and the heart is human
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
while i am more associated with mystery and adventure novels than anything else, i read and read. and on my website, polly whitney's book is among my five favorites ever. truth is the only societal comparison to it that i can find is "catcher in the rye," and graceanne is a far better book and a far better character to spend time with. holden caufield consumed his day pissing and moaning while graceanne spends her time enduring and conquering. i have loved this book since the day my favorite editor, ruth cavan, sent it to me for a christmas present...do yourself a favor, get graceanne's book and it will soon be not just her book, but your book too. simply a remarkable work of art.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
THIS IS GRACEANNE'S BOOK is the most important and most beautiful work of fiction I've read in a long while. It is a book I will never forget.
THIS IS GRACEANNE'S BOOK transports the reader to the year 1960 and to Cranepool's Landing, Missouri, a small town on the bank of the Mississippi River. Nine-year-old Charlie Farrand tells the story of a year in the lives of the Farrand family, a year when the temperament of the river was variable and unpredictable. Sometimes it was tranquil, flowing with lazy calmness, and other times it was turbulent, its destructive currents leaving wreckage along its path. And so it was in the Farrand home.
It was the year of Ugly Blue Man. It was the year when a Negro girl became the Farrand kids' best friend. It was the year when twelve-year-old Graceanne was abused by her mother, and Charlie learned how to protect her, and Graceanne learned how to save herself. And it was the year when imagination and the magic of the planets saved them both.
Charlie's narrative voice is so clear and believable that I remembered what it felt like to be a child -- when you knew you weren't smart enough to understand things adults said and did; and when you wanted more than anything to be able to do things better, but you were just a kid, and you didn't know how. Charlie reminded me of how frustrating it was to be a kid.
Graceanne reminded me what it was like to be a kid, too -- when you had confidence to try anything because you knew you could do it; and when you had a brother and a sister you loved more than anything, but that didn't stop you from fighting with them. Graceanne reminded me of how smart I felt when I was a kid. Together, Charlie and Graceanne reminded me how wonderful, yet how difficult it was to be a child.
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