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The Book of Marie

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  147 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
In spring 1962, a young black girl is killed at a civil rights demonstration on a university campus in Atlanta. The next day a home in Georgia is burned. Both events are etched into the memory of Cole Bishop, eerily playing out the predictions of a former classmate named Marie Fitzpatrick. Cole and Marie are high school seniors when they first meet in fall 1954. He is a na ...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Mercer University Press
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Faye Powell
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Terry Kay is one of my favorite writers, and The Book of Marie is my favorite of all the ones I've read.

In 1962 the world was awash in social and political change on many fronts. Independence from colonial powers was spreading through Africa and elsewhere. In the American South, the Civil Rights Movement continued the struggle to overturn segregation in schools and other public institutions. Under court order, on October 1, 1962, James Meredith was the first African-American to be admitted to t
Julia McDermott
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was drawn into the world of Marie and Cole in this engaging and very well told story. The writing is wonderful and the pacing is spot on. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of New England and rural Georgia. As someone who also moved to the south, I identified with many of Marie's impressions, and I wish I'd had my own Cole. This book deftly weaves past and present in an unforgettable tale of love, serendipity, unfairness and missed chances. I plan to read more of this author's works.
Rona Simmons
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I had the good fortune to be attending the Dahlonega Book Festival as an author myself when Terry Kay walked by my booth. I'd heard him speak earlier in the day and asked him to elaborate on one of the points he made. He was most generous with his time and before leaving, in response to my request, he suggested of all his books The Book of Marie.
In his prologue, he wishes that his readers have met their own Marie's and Cole's and other characters in the book. Though I have to say, I have not, I
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book. Perhaps the lower ratings are from those who can't identify with a town in the south facing desegregation, but it provides an excellent and honest view of that scenario from someone who lived through it. But the bonus is a tale of a wonderful friendship between two amazing characters, and how they impacted each others lives. I loved it and can't wait to read more of his books.
Marge Rudman
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terry Kay's stories carry me away

Whenever I feel the need for something particularly lyrical yet real, I turn to a Terry Kay novel. He never disappoints. The Book of Marie rates just 4 stars as it braids together the story of an outstanding woman with the changes in The South. Not his best work, but still better than almost anything else out there.
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandy Barker
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What. A. Great. Piece. Of. Art.
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
He calls it his most important work. The Book of Marie by Terry Kay is an epistolary novel that spans fifty years of Cole Bishop’s life. Sparked by an invitation to his fiftieth high school reunion, Cole is thrust into memories of the girl, Marie who moved into his small North Georgia town his senior year – 1955.

Arriving from the “progressive” area of DC, Marie stirs things up in Overton, first by teaching the four small black children of their house maid and then by delivering a valedictorian s
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After hearing Terry Kay say this was his favorite book (at the local library) I had to read it. It is a beautifully written lyrical book, much in the form of letters from Marie to her high school friend Cole over 50 years. The story behind the book is fascinating, Terry Kay had written a book about two boys, one white, one black, born on the same day. Written in three parts, their childhood, then their separation and finally, 50 years later they reunite. The publishers only published the first p ...more
Jan 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
Let me preface this by saying, I love Southern Literature. I'm a Southerner of at least 10 generations. But...

This was one of the worst books I've read in a long time. There are a lot of lousy books, and I don't read them, but I stuck with this one, hoping that Kay would redeem himself. He didn't. My experience (and stomach) was deeply soured when he fixed himself a breakfast (so many breakfasts, and delicate dinners, I see why this book got kicked back by his "regular" publisher...) of grits an
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
About a month ago, I went to a booksigning and reading by Terry Kay. It was for his new novel, Bogmeadow's Wish, which I haven't read yet. People asked him a lot of questions about this book, though, and when someone asked what his favorite is of his own books, he said it's this one. Of course, I had to buy it and have him sign it after hearing that. The structure is interesting, with both first and third person narration, and it's a really good story. It takes place in 1955 and 2005 and involve ...more
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my third Terry Kay book and the most memorable. A Vermont college professor, Cole Bishop receives a invitation to his 50th class and reunion and with it comes anxiety attacks, so with advice of his friend and psychologist, Tanya, he starts the Book of Marie. It takes you back to 1954 to when, this new girl, Marie Fitspatrick join the senior class of Overturn High School in Overturn, GA. Dr. Cole Bishop has to face his past and a love that he had for Marie. Very good book, even though bit ...more
Florence Primrose
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book--a good look at the way the South has changed in 50 years. The main character is a high school senior quarterback in the same year in which I was a high school senior. A northern girl who dislikes everything about the South moves in to the small town and is befriended by the quarterback. Their senior year is difficult for all.

A series of letters between the two main characters follows the changes in the South leading up to the 50th year class reunion.
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite all time books. The style and narrative was interesting, unusual and enlightening. I could go on and on! Will be reading many more books by Terry Kay. I would so often stop mid paragraph and just marvel at the ability of anyone to combine words in such a unique and visual way. A true gift this author shares with his readers.
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a 90 year old avid reader of all kinds of literature this is MY ALL TIME FAVORITE. To me, it reads like a beautifu poem. I am amazed to see negative reviews of this book. I suppose it goes to show that we all do not the same opinion. I suppose that is a good thing --- "its something to think about."
Cindy Wheeler
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a teacher of literature, like Cole Bishop in the novel, I can relate to these lines from The Book of Marie: "...I tell stories that other people...have created, and I become, by the power of wishing it, those intriguing adventurers..." and "...teaching is an act of fantasizing, as well as an act of becoming." The Book of Marie is a powerful, moving, important story.
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!!! It is a beautiful story of friendship and love on one level. And it also doubles as an impressive narrative of the early day days of desegregation and it's effect on the south. It made me cry.
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shelf-of-wonders
Another wonderful book by Georgia author Terry Kay. A former high school quarter back who who graduated in the 1950s looks back on his life, what it meant, and how a classmate named Marie altered the course his life would take.
Nov 05, 2009 rated it liked it
I picked this book by it's cover...local author and has my sisters name in the title. It was an interesting read about life in the South in the 60's and a friendship that grew apart.
Dec 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
A great story of a man and his past
Sep 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of southern literature
another great Terry Kay book. not as great as The White Dog.
Debbie Maskus
Aug 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Read for Southern Voices Book Club 9/2008
Lanty Ross
Not too impressed

Sometimes I read a book that I look forward to finishing so that I can move on to something else. This was one of those.
Dec 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Coming of age story set in the 1950s/60s during the civil rights movement. Includes a love story that is sweet and enduring but never really happens...some passages are beautifully written
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best written books. I could not put it down.
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
I loved this book - parts of which took place 50 years ago!
Nancy L.
Sep 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
A unique look at the 60s and the Civil Rights movement.
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
Cole and Marie are high school seniors when they first meet in fall 1954.
Kristie Fields
Feb 02, 2008 rated it liked it
I am enjoying this one so far.
Feb 27, 2008 rated it liked it
A good read of the desegration era.
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TERRY KAY, a 2006 inductee into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, is the author of The Book of Marie, recently released by Mercer University Press. Kay has been a sports writer and film/theater reviewer (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), a public relations executive, and a corporate officer. He is the author of nine other published novels, including To Dance with the White Dog, The Valley of Light, T ...more
More about Terry Kay...