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Ellen Foster
Kaye Gibbons
0375703055
November 1997
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Oprah Book Club® Selection, October 1997: Kaye Gibbons is a writer who brings a short story sensibility to her novels. Rather than take advantage of the novel's longer form to paint her visions in broad, sweeping strokes, Gibbons prefers to concentrate on just one corner of the canvas and only a few colors to produce her small masterpieces. In Gibbons's case, her canvas is the American South and her colors are all the shades of gray. In Ellen Foster, the title character is an 11-year-old orphan who refers to herself as "old Ellen," an appellation that is disturbingly apt. Ellen is an old woman in a child's body; her frail, unhappy mother dies, her abusive father alternately neglects her and makes advances on her, and she is shuttled from one uncaring relative's home to another before she finally takes matters...


The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster
Kaye Gibbons
0151012040
December 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
The cynical view of Kaye Gibbons's The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster would be that the Poor Little Match Girl has morphed into Cinderella. Ellen Foster, a book anointed by Oprah's Book Club®, was the tale of young Ellen, daughter of a neurasthenic twit of a mother and a drunken abusive father, who was tossed out of her wicked aunt's home on Christmas Day (Shades of Dickens!). Plucky Ellen fetcheed up at the doorstep of her chosen foster mother and life settled down.

This book begins with a too cute, aggressively innocent letter to Derek Bok, President of Harvard University, asking for early admission. Now that Ellen is 15, she believes that she is ready for a larger world, a better education and a different life. That pursuit becomes an incidental subtext to ongoing events. The next...



A Virtuous Woman
Kaye Gibbons
0375703063
November 1997
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Oprah Book Club® Selection, October 1997: Gibbons's novel, A Virtuous Woman, takes place in the same hardscrabble part of the world as Ellen Foster. The virtuous woman is Ruby Pitt Woodrow, a woman who might have ended up like Ellen Foster's mother if fate, in the shape of Jack Stokes, hadn't crossed her path. The daughter of prosperous farmers, Ruby runs off with a migrant worker who treats her badly, then abandons her far from home. When she meets Jack, a man 20 years her senior, she's working as a cleaning woman in another prosperous farmer's house. Jack is a man women don't look at even once, let alone twice; Ruby is a woman who needs someone to take care of her. Out of this unlikely union grows a quiet kind of love that is no less powerful for being unstated.

Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman share more...



Charms for the Easy Life
Kaye Gibbons
0060760257
July 2005
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Begining with her debut novel, Ellen Foster , Gibbons' work has been heartwarming and addictively readable. In this, her fourth novel, she creates a touching picture of female bonding and solidarity. Related with the simple, tart economy of a folktale, the narrative brims with wisdom and superstition, with Southern manners and insights into human nature. Like the heroines of Gibbons's previous novels, indomitable country doctor Charlie Kate and her daughter, Sophia, have been disappointed by men. Supported by Charlie Kate's homeopathic medical practice, which she pursues without the benefit of a degree but with the respect of the community of Raleigh, N.C., they live with Margaret, Sophia's daughter (the novel's narrator), in a relatively harmonious if decidedly eccentric household. All are feminists before the...


Charms for the Easy Life
Kaye Gibbons
0380722704
April 1994
Mass Market Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Three women find solace in an eccentric household in Raleigh, N.C., in Gibbons's touching fourth novel. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
Like its predecessors, Ellen Foster ( LJ 4/15/87), A Virtuous Woman ( LJ 4/1/89), and A Cure for Dreams ( LJ 2/15/91), this new novel depicts three generations of Southern women living together during World War II. Unworthy men marry into this formidable tribe, but they cannot break the women's circle of strength and grace. Margaret, the narrator, gently and humorously regales readers with the adventures of her grandmother, Charlie Kate, as a respectable yet unlicensed physician. Without losing her rural sensibility, Gibbons moves from her previous country settings to Raleigh, the capital of her native...


Divining Women
Kaye Gibbons
0060760281
July 2005
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Gibbons (Ellen Foster; On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon; etc.) hearkens back to the Brontë sisters with her penchant for the gothic in this rather stilted novel of female oppression and liberation. As WWI draws to an end, 22-year-old Mary Oliver sits at home in Washington, D.C., waiting for her postgraduate literature classes at Radcliffe to begin. To give her something to do, her mother, Martha, suggests that she travel to North Carolina to visit Martha's estranged half-brother, Troop, and his wife, Maureen, who is expecting a baby. Troop was a terror as a boy and young man, but Martha is sure he has changed since his marriage. Mary, however, arrives to find that Maureen has been all but destroyed by Troop's psychological manipulation and verbal abuse. Troop refuses to allow newspapers into his house...


Ellen Foster
Kaye Gibbons
1565122054
December 1997
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
Oprah Book Club® Selection, October 1997: Kaye Gibbons is a writer who brings a short story sensibility to her novels. Rather than take advantage of the novel's longer form to paint her visions in broad, sweeping strokes, Gibbons prefers to concentrate on just one corner of the canvas and only a few colors to produce her small masterpieces. In Gibbons's case, her canvas is the American South and her colors are all the shades of gray. In Ellen Foster, the title character is an 11-year-old orphan who refers to herself as "old Ellen," an appellation that is disturbingly apt. Ellen is an old woman in a child's body; her frail, unhappy mother dies, her abusive father alternately neglects her and makes advances on her, and she is shuttled from one uncaring relative's home to another before she finally takes matters...


The Awakening and Other Stories
Kate Chopin
0679783334
Nov 2000
Paperback
·
 
Review
"A Creole Bovary is this little novel of Miss Chopin's."
--Willa Cather

Review
"A Creole Bovary is this little novel of Miss Chopin's."
--Willa Cather

See all Editorial Reviews


Kaye Gibbons: A Critical Companion
Mary Jean Demarr
0313319332
March 2003
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
This companion--the first and only book-length study of its kind--provides insights and interpretations that will help readers enjoy and better appreciate the novels of Kaye Gibbons.

About the Author
MARY JEAN DEMARR is Professor Emerita of English and Women's Studies at Indiana State University. She is the author of two previous Critical Companions, Barbara Kingsolver (1999) and Colleen McCullough (1996). She is also co-author of The Adolescent in the American Novel Since 1960.


Sights Unseen
Kaye Gibbons
0060797150
July 2005
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
"Both forgiving and healing are true arts," says Hattie Barnes, the narrator of Gibbons's moving novel; readers will be thoroughly in thrall to her clear, true voice and to the poignant story she tells. In flashback, Hattie describes the summer and fall of 1967, when she was 12 and living in Bend of the River, N.C., and when her beautiful, psychotically volatile mother, Maggie, was temporarily committed to the psychiatric ward at Duke University. A near-miracle occurs: for the first time in nearly two decades, Maggie becomes stabilized on medication. And, for the first time in her life, Hattie experiences a mother who relates to, touches and cares for her. Gibbons tells this story of family dislocation and crisis in restrained prose of unflinching clarity, with a honing eye for the small domestic details that...


On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon
Kaye Gibbons
0060797142
June 2005
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Polly Holliday of TV's Home Improvement won a Tony nomination on Broadway playing Big Mama in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and she makes Clarice, the matriarch of Kaye Gibbons' Civil War story On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon, sound very big of voice indeed. Clarice is the slave who really runs things on Virginia's Seven Oaks plantation, no matter what her nasty, brutish owner, Samuel P. Tate, might think. Holliday has a good time voicing Tate's fulminations, too, neatly distinguishing them from the heroine-narrator Emma Tate's rather daintier dulcet tones. Not that Emma can't be wicked in her own way: she describes a snobbish socialite, "aggressively plain in the face ... who effused through the front door and into the arms of everyone simultaneously." Ms. Holliday puts as much sly violence into that...


Cure for Dreams
Kaye Gibbons
0679736727
July 1992
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
An engaging portrait of a possessive mother and her obedient daughter, limned against a larger canvas depicting women's roles in southern society. Author tour. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
This episodic novel, Gibbons's third, is set during the Depression in back-country Virginia and Kentucky. In 19 vignettes, Betty Davies Randolph reveals her childhood and her mother's life along Milk Farm Road. Gibbons, winner of several literary awards for her first novel Ellen Foster ( LJ 4/15/87), has captured magnificently the dailiness and sense of community of rural life--from midwives and WPA ballads to suicides and men gone wild. Southern, and full of the folk wisdom of generations, Gibbons's voice reveals life's truths: "Listen and hear...


The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster
Kaye Gibbons
0739321900
Dec 2005
Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged
·
 
Book Review
The cynical view of Kaye Gibbons's The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster would be that the Poor Little Match Girl has morphed into Cinderella. Ellen Foster, a book anointed by Oprah's Book Club®, was the tale of young Ellen, daughter of a neurasthenic twit of a mother and a drunken abusive father, who was tossed out of her wicked aunt's home on Christmas Day (Shades of Dickens!). Plucky Ellen fetcheed up at the doorstep of her chosen foster mother and life settled down.

This book begins with a too cute, aggressively innocent letter to Derek Bok, President of Harvard University, asking for early admission. Now that Ellen is 15, she believes that she is ready for a larger world, a better education and a different life. That pursuit becomes an incidental subtext to ongoing events. The next...


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