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This Is Graceanne's Book: A Novel Hardcover – Mar 15 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (March 15 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031220597X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312205973
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 14.7 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 472 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)


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By A Customer on Jan. 20 2003
Format: Paperback
Wonderfully written. The characters are very well drawn out, especially Graceanne and her mother. The story is told from Graceanne's brother's perspective. Although many people in her life see Graceanne as being a misbehaving "problem" child, it is clear from the way she treats her siblings and friends that Graceanne is one of the most loving characters I have ever met. I was sorry that the book ended. I want to know more about what happens in their lives. I highly recommend this book.
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By A Customer on Dec 9 2002
Format: Paperback
Very true to life story of a fractured family. You will have a hard time putting it down.
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By A Customer on July 31 2002
Format: Hardcover
Once I began reading this book, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I was anxious to get back to the story to find out what happened to these children, always hoping that some drastic event would change their lives for the better. The writing is so vivid that you can easily picture the settings and feel their pain. The ending leaves you haunted and wishing to go back and make it right for them. I highly recommend this book as one of the best that I have read.
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Format: Paperback
The minute I finished this book I wanted to talk about it with someone. I wanted to explore the rich Missouri setting, the strong characters that are authentic and interesting, and the issues of racisim and child abuse that rage through this novel like the river that floods Graceanne's home town.
In a nutshell, Graceanne is a spirited highly intelligent child who is the sole recipient of her mother's violent abuse. She remains strong, witty and true to herself throughout the entire novel. I strongly disagree with a fellow reviewer who believes that Graceanne "got what she deserved" because she was such a willful and devilish child. I believe her antics, such as hiding out in the school's flooded basement for two days so that she could be "Champion for Eternity" in a game of hide-and-seek, was her way of not letting the abuse do her in. It was her way of preserving her soul.
At first I was really worried that the child-abuse scenes would be too vivid. I worried that they would be the central imagery of the story. They aren't. Whitney uses them just enough, and is detailed just enough, so that you know how sick the mother really is. The author often makes you laugh and smile at a small town childhood, and small town kids getting into small town mischief.
This is really a story of kids overcoming the hands that life has delt them. Charlie overcoming his club foot, Graceanne her abuse and Wanda the racism that plagued that era of American history. These kids perservere with such charm and such thoughtfulness. In the end you are cheering for them, and praying that happiness will follow them beyond the wire hanger beatings of their childhood.
This is a book that sticks with you. Read it.
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Format: Paperback
What an amazing book! The soul-touching story, combined with some of the most incredibly natural, infectious humor since Mark Twain, makes this one of the most uplifting books I've read in recent years.
The main characters -- 9 year-old Charlie, the narrator, and 12 year-old Graceanne, his sister -- are immensely endearing and admirable. They are growing up -- along with their older sister, 16 year-old Kentucky -- living with their recently-divorced mother on the 'wrong side of the tracks' in a small town in northern Missouri in the early 1960s. Their dad isn't in the picture much -- an alcoholic soldier who beats their mother, he's sent packing early on in the story, and makes himself scarce after his exit.
The mother, Edie, would probably be diagnosed today as being neurotic or psychotic. In her never-ending struggle to 'keep up appearances', she constantly nags her kids about their manners, the company they keep, &c. On several occasions, she asks out loud 'What have I ever done to deserve such demon children?' She takes most of her frustrations with her life, along with her complete misunderstanding of her children, on the intelligent, precocious Graceanne. On several occasions, she beats her until she's bloody. It's easy to understand how the kids would come to see themselves as a burden to her -- if it weren't for their seemingly indestructable spirits.
Graceanne is a tough child with a reputation to match. Near the beginning of the book, Charlie (actually short for Charlemange, which should tell you MORE about their mother), who has a correctable club foot, is musing about being bullied by the other children in town. He dismisses worrying about the other kids with these thoughts about his sisters (from p.
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By Abby on Feb. 28 2002
Format: Paperback
I devoured this book!! Maybe after the last one it was just too exciting to have a book with a plot... It's set in a small Missouri town in 1960-61 and told from the point of view of Charlie, the youngest child in a family of three children. The children, especially the middle child Graceanne, endure horrible abuse at the hands of their mother (who was abused by their father before she divorced him and got kicked out of the Catholic church... Hmmm...) but their courage and humour in dealing with it is really amazing. The characters were touching, the imagery is magnifique, the book played out like it was a movie. I loved the characters and rooted for them all the way through the book. It's great.
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