50th out of 65 books — 29 voters
This Is Graceanne's Book: A Novel
by P.L. Whitney
The story is told by a nine-year old boy, Charlie, who observes with an encompassing awe a pivotal year in the life of his older sister Graceanne. She's loud, intellectual and a ruthless physical and psychological daredevil, a girl whose ferocious exploits are the stuff of local legend and the stuff of all that Charlie aspires to be. He narrates Graceanne's painful passage...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 22nd 2001 by St. Martin's Griffin
(first published January 1st 1999)
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Really liked this book. It's another coming of age story, along the lines of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and "Glass Castle". Poverty, abuse, racism, siblings loyal to each other out of a need to survive. Seen through the eyes of a ten-year old boy, Charlie, the fiery personality of his sister Graceanne is a source of fascination and a little envy. When sparks ignite between Graceanne and their flint-hearted mother, Graceanne escapes into her diary, written as imaginative fiction. Charlie inadvert...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. The story is a difficult one about the coming of age of a young girl as told by her younger brother. The children in this novel are charming, but their lives are made difficult by both poverty and a mother who is psychotically cruel. Most of the mother's wrath is directed at Graceanne who comes up with as many coping mechanisms as she can. Her most favored safe harbor is writing in a book she keeps hidden under the bed. I wish there had been some greater ch...more
Deep breath. I just finished this one and it was a wonderful example of stellar storytelling. A lot of times when I'm reading a novel I'll be aware of certain literary devices and am constantly conscious that I'm reading "a book" created by someone. With this one I was so enmeshed in the story and was constantly amazed at how very real and fleshed out the characters were, even the minor ones. So much happened in the book and at the same time so little happened. So much changed and again, so litt...more
When I ran across this book today, at first I couldn't remember reading it. However, when I read the review on the back of the book, I remembered the mood of the book and its main character. It is one of very few books I may want to read again. I think I first read it in 2007 since it was in a stack of books I read in 2007. Somehow I didn't get it entered on goodreads at that time.
This book is of the currently popular theme of coming to age books. I particularly liked this one because it is set in MO near where I grew up so some of the locations are familiar to me from childhood. I also appreciated the tension that was maintained throughout the book, a subtle sense of impending doom always in the background but never really delivered. It created a nice drive to keep the story moving without being maladramatic. The ending is also well done and avoids the prettying up that...more
I loved the characters in this book - three siblings who pick and each other and push each other's buttons, but love each other fiercely! They were so very real! The mom is just as real, but really is not a very sympathetic character. A great story about the complexity of family relationships and the determination of one very strong little girl.