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Four Corners

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  1 Rating  ·  1 Review
"I was ten the summer we drove my mother crazy." And so starts this captivating debut novel, narrated by ten-year-old Rainey Dougherty. It's August 1953 in Four Corners, New York, when Rainey's mother is hospitalized for mental instability--or, as Rainey's father puts it, when the doctors say she needs a good long rest. Rainey and her four siblings find themselves at the ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 3rd 2003 by Mariner Books (first published September 15th 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 02, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it
What a great surprise. Bought it at a library book sale and enjoyed the writing style. I hope she writes another book.
Feb 07, 2014 Michelle rated it did not like it
Normally I apologize if I DNF a book, but for this one it's not going to happen. I'm not a prude and I can swear like a truck driver, but I found the writing in here to be pretty vile and disgusting. I understand that it's part of the story line, but honestly did I need to read the word pussy (Not the kitty kitty meow kind or tree) 6x by the 40th page. Did I really need to read a description of the uncles stuff hanging out of his underwear down to the color, shape, and what fruit it resembled? I ...more
Jan 16, 2009 Liz rated it liked it
This is not a happy story about children dealing with their mother's mental illness. Most of the time the mother is in a mental hospital and their aunt is taking care of them. There is a lot of meanness and despair in the aunt's dealings with the children, who are living with their dad and in poverty. What is interesting about this book is the voice of the narrator, who takes on the cadences and vocabulary of whoever she is quoting (kind of like what I felt the author of Fieldwork was doing). ...more
Nov 21, 2012 Juliann rated it really liked it
I didn't have high expectations when I picked up this book, but I'll tell you what. I absolutely loved it. The writing is clever. The circumstances surrounding this family was certainly depressing, but I can't remember a book that made me laugh out loud at some of the one-liners. I'll tuck "Four Corners" back on the shelf for a re-read one of these years.
This book demands a sequel. I am disappointed to see that it was published over a decade ago, and not only is there no sequal, but I cannot
Pam Oconnor
May 10, 2015 Pam Oconnor rated it really liked it
I'm pretty sure I read this book before, and I did remember the characters. I reread it because I couldn't remember very much. This is a sad story about a family of children whose mother was in an insane asylum. Their aunt came to care for them, very badly I'm afraid. It is hard to read in parts. It is narrated by Rainey, who had to grow up way beyond her years. It reads like a memoir but it is fiction.
Robin Tuthill
Apr 16, 2012 Robin Tuthill rated it really liked it
A gem of a book, both in the brilliant writing and in the powerful story of a 10-year-old girl growing up in an emotionally disturbed family, in upstate New York. It does what good literature ought to: move us out of our own little worlds and into other, different worlds every bit as real and true as our's. A very sad story, but captivating to read. Wrote a review, published on
Aug 30, 2015 Diane rated it liked it
"These villages sagged from neglect. Their front porches drooped like the overalls of the old men who sat on them. When the men died, the women lingered on, cloistered and brittle behind their dusty drapes." This typifies the book's tone and if you don't think you can live through it, don't begin, but if you like a good story, then venture in. A good read.
Jan 28, 2012 Marguerite rated it it was ok
Very similiar to Bastard Out Of Carolina, which to me, was a work of literature. This, not so. Too much of the author's personal angst seemed to leak through unreigned. I was not put off by the darkness of the book, but something just seemed "off". Perhaps I could not get past what seemed to be similiarities to Bastard Out Of Carolina.
Oct 06, 2012 Alicia rated it really liked it
Like Liar's Club - very disfunctional family in a bad situation. Manages to not be entirely depressing.
Toesnorth's mom
Dec 05, 2012 Toesnorth's mom added it
Shelves: mom-s
first novel, good but she must have had a horrible childhood or knew someone who had, reminds me of the Jones family but worse
May 16, 2008 Autumn rated it liked it
This book...Made me physically ill to read. The storyline was good but it was full of disturbing topics. Made me angry, sad, frustrated...all at once. It is not a book I will read again.
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Teresa Miller rated it it was amazing
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