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Cress Delahanty

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  195 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Cress Delahanty remains one of the most intrepid and beloved teenagers in all American literature. Amid the clotted oil fields and pungent orange groves of rural 1940s California, the young woman explores her family’s citrus ranch, worries about boys, attempts to negotiate the high school social ladder, and suffers embarrassments, big and small, in a tenacious search for h ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by The Feminist Press at CUNY (first published 1945)
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454th out of 664 books — 921 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 459)
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Jan 29, 2009 Julia rated it it was amazing
My mother recommended this book to me when I was a teenager in the late 80s and I read it and liked it then...even though I was at an age where I didn't necessarily want to like the books my mother recommended to me. I found that parts of it really stayed in my memory in a haunting, favorite-book sort of way, which I hadn't expected. Quite by accident, a couple years ago I happened upon a copy in a local thrift store but it was only being used along with some other books as a display for a bookc ...more
Leah Beecher
Aug 31, 2011 Leah Beecher rated it really liked it
This was one of those books I picked up solely on the cover and the front page description: The Tenderly Funny Story Of A Modern Girl's Growing Up.
This book was first published in 1945, and so I was interested in what was considered to be a "modern girl" during the time my grandmother was growing up.
This book was so delightful. It has exceptional descriptive writing along with a very funny and poignant narration of the young main character, Cress Delahanty. This short little book, is divided int
Apr 30, 2009 Rinda rated it it was amazing
I was given a reading list by my favorite lit teacher, a list I still have 40 some years later. It's still a great list. Cress Delahanty was one of the books on that list. I read this book the first time when I was in high school. I read it every ten years or so. Cress is such a delightful teenage girl, believable when I was 16 and just as believable now that I am the grandmother of a teenage girl. Should be required reading for every mother of a flighty sensitive intelligent teenage girl.

Jun 27, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it
Fun to reread this book that I read several times as a teen & young adult! West's character construction is really excellent. The stories were published individually, & the book is a bit disjointed as a result - not all the threads carry through. But it's a fascinating glimpse of a girl's coming of age in a particular time & place, 1940s California - but West's sensibilities feel very cosmopolitan & contemporary to me.
Dec 07, 2008 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: women of all ages
Recommended to Vanessa by: found it at a thrift store
A whimsical and at times gloomy coming of age story. Cress is an amazing character, I only wish the book didn't end and we could read about her adult life. I first read this years ago in junior high or highschool and since then probably have gone back to it a dozen or so times to read again.
Oct 07, 2008 Becky rated it really liked it
I like books about thinkers... this is a thirteen year old girl's version of Darkness at Noon. Ha.
Alandra Johnson
Mar 25, 2014 Alandra Johnson rated it it was amazing
I could read this book every year I love it so.
Apr 08, 2016 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
This was a very important book to me when I was 13 so I decided to give it another read at age 69. Cress's pondering and planning and executing her life certainly set goals for me as a young teen. So I am amazed how much it rings true to me as an old lady. This girl is a real thinker and she made it Ok for me to spin all the wild thoughts in my head. Good read at any age!
Oct 19, 2007 Anjoli rated it really liked it
A contemporary of JD Salinger (Catcher in the Rye, 9 Stories), Delahanty was just as well celebrated as he was, but didn't get all the reprints. We found this collection, which is a loosely strung together novel (originally, the chapters were pubbed in separate periodicals) about a young, precocious, preteen growing up in the southern California when Orange Grove boulevard was still an orange grove. The writing style is a bit outdated (by that, I mean slow moving), but it's beautiful nonetheless ...more
May 15, 2014 Linda rated it liked it
Cress passes through her teen years in 1940's Southern California.
Dec 18, 2014 Deb rated it really liked it
Big spit Delahanty haunts me still...reading date approximate.
Mar 10, 2014 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thinks this is a classic book of a teenage girl trying to figure out was written in the 1940's. It is pretty well done. Cress is a pip and is quite dramatic, but then most teenage girls are. This book was a little hard to get through but pretty well written.
Sharon Buxton
Feb 27, 2016 Sharon Buxton rated it liked it
B. fiction, mom's stash, keep
Jun 12, 2010 AlixJamie rated it liked it
This was, without a doubt, one of the strangest books I have ever read. It jumps from place to place and year to year like a grasshopper on a sugar-high. Sometimes I completely empathized with Cress and other times I couldn't figure, for the life of me, what she was driving at. Besides this, it was an enjoyable read.
Lisa Mcbroom
May 10, 2016 Lisa Mcbroom rated it it was amazing
At age 17 this book was recommended to me by my favorite teacher. Written in the40's this book has a timeless feel and yet you can go to the past of what it was like being a teen with the myriad of feelings you experienced!
June Schwarz
Jul 12, 2012 June Schwarz rated it really liked it
I read this when I was eleven & adored it. I reread it every year or so for a decade & then decided I didn't like the second half of the story. Now, I am rediscovering it.
Sep 22, 2010 Marilynn rated it really liked it
This is on my BIG list of books to read. It is another coming-
of-age story of a young girl living in S. Calif. It kept my
interest. I like Jessamyn West books.
Lynn Pribus
Aug 04, 2009 Lynn Pribus rated it really liked it
Ah, Cress! A delightful young feminist and getter into trouble. I hadn't realized West had died so long ago (1984). I always have enjoyed her work.
Leanne Hoffmann
Nov 21, 2010 Leanne Hoffmann rated it it was ok
Read as a teenager. Remember my mother knew of the book which made me want to read it more. Don't remember loving it.
Apr 16, 2013 Lyn rated it it was amazing
My first Jessamyn West, & i was in love with her. I even named my daughter Jessamyn, really.
Dec 05, 2009 Ruth added it
Read way too long ago for me to remember enough to start handing out stars.
Mary Jo
Dec 15, 2015 Mary Jo rated it really liked it
The writing was truly a delight. Very insightful.
Oct 23, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
Read this so many years still is wonderful
Jul 05, 2011 Sheabody rated it it was amazing
Great coming-of-age novel!
susan arthur
susan arthur rated it did not like it
Jun 23, 2016
Nancy Blacksmith
Nancy Blacksmith rated it really liked it
Jun 23, 2016
Aurea marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2016
Linda Holmes
Linda Holmes marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2016
Msbookworm rated it liked it
May 27, 2016
Kathryn marked it as to-read
May 25, 2016
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Mary Jessamyn West was an American Quaker (originally from Indiana) who wrote numerous stories and novels, notably The Friendly Persuasion (1945).
More about Jessamyn West...

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