This sequel to Gibbons's beloved classic Ellen Foster stands on its own as an unforgettable portrait of a redoubtable adolescent making herself up out of whole cloth. Now fifteen, Ellen is settled into a permanent home with a new mother. Strengthened by adversity and blessed with enough intelligence to design a salvation for herself, she still feels ill at ease in the world. Her sole surviving ritual - a visit to the county fair - takes on totemic importance. While she holds fast to the shreds of her childhood - humoring her best friend, Stuart, who is determined to marry her; and protecting her old neighbor, slow-witted Starletta - she negotiates her way into a larger world by selling her poetry to pay her way to a camp for gifted students. With a singular mix of perspicacity, naïveté, and compassion, Ellen draws us into her life and makes us fall in love with her all over again.
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'Even as good guys falter, readers can trust that all will be right in the end in this extended curtain call for a fondly remembered character.' - PW.
'The stream-of-consciousness style requires slowing down one's reading to a Southern pace, which makes the book a restful read and calls attention to Gibbons's meticulous language. This book is not to be missed. Highly recommended.' - Library Journal.
'Ellen's fortune has improved, but her charm has curdled into self-congratulatory superiority.' - Kirkus.
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Kaye Gibbons is a North Carolina writer who has risen out of poverty and difficult circumstances to produce a series of successful novels.
Kaye Gibbons was born Bertha Kaye Batts in Nash county, N.C. on May 5, 1960. She had a poor and troubled childhood from which she has drawn liberally to create her novels. She grew up in a tin-roofed house with an alcoholic father and no electricity or running water.
Gibbons is the author of Ellen Foster, A Virtuous Woman, A Cure for Dreams, Charms for the Easy Life, and Sights Unseen.
Kaye Gibbons receiving the North Carolina Award for Literature in 1998. She lives with her family in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
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