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Cress Delahanty

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  167 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Brimming “with humor and charm and youthful animal spirits…There is much true wisdom in Cress Delahanty.” (The New York Times)

West writes “gracefully, occasionally poetically, in a voice both innocent and brave.” (The Washington Post)

Set in rural California in the 1940s, this novel wittily portrays an adolescent girl navigating pivotal moments of growing up between 12 and
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by The Feminist Press at CUNY (first published 1945)
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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
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
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.

I like books about thinkers... this is a thirteen year old girl's version of Darkness at Noon. Ha.
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
Cress passes through her teen years in 1940's Southern California.
Big spit Delahanty haunts me still...reading date approximate.
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.
Alandra Johnson
I could read this book every year I love it so.
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.
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.
Dec 07, 2008 Vanessa rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
June Schwarz
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.
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
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
Read as a teenager. Remember my mother knew of the book which made me want to read it more. Don't remember loving it.
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.
Read this so many years still is wonderful
Great coming-of-age novel!
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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...
The Friendly Persuasion Except for Me and Thee The Massacre at Fall Creek Quaker Reader The Life I Really Lived

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