From one of the best-selling memoirists of all time, a stunning and heartbreaking novel about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustice of the adult world - a triumph of imagination and storytelling.
It is 1970. "Bean" Holladay is 12 and her sister, Liz, is 15 when their artistic mother, Charlotte, a woman who flees every place she’s ever lived at the first sign of trouble," takes off to find herself." She leaves her girls enough money for food to last a month or two. But when Bean gets home from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz board a bus from California to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying antebellum mansion that’s been in the family for generations.
An impetuous optimist, Bean discovers who her father was and learns many stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, so Liz and Bean start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town, a big man who bullies workers, tenants, and his wife. Bean adores her whip-smart older sister, inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, non-conformist. But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens to Liz in the car with Maddox.
The author of The Glass Castle, hyper-alert to abuse of adult power, has written a gorgeous, riveting, heartbreaking novel about triumph over adversity and about people who find a way to love the world despite its flaws and injustices.
©2013 Jeannette Walls (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
I really wanted to like this book. It took me several tries, starting to listen to this book & abandoning it, to finally get interested enough to stay with it. I finally got far enough into it to get interested in the story & want to finish it. Narrator wasn't great - I think a better narrator would have helped. It was an OK story & I was rooting for the girls towards the end.
I really like her writing and loved the two other books of hers that I have read.
I am not continuing to listen, because the narration is so unpleasant for me!
The pacing is off, the expression seems forced, and her voice is not professional in quality.
Jeannette Wall's is a good writer. I look forward to her books.
Hire a narrator!
Drab, too like her other books.
The characters are so well developed. I also loved Jeanette's narration.
yes. It's as good as the others. I didn't want it to end.
Great summer read!
The main character " Bean". Her 12 year old perspectives run a wide range from innocent to tenacious & stubborn through the whirlwind of changes she & her sister take on, both In their world as kids & the world of adults. Uncle Tinsley, the reclusive hoarder, was a close second with his odd, but caring efforts in offering the girls an anchor in their lives.
1st day of school at their new school - the mixture of excitement & dread against the backdrop of the historical timing.
There were both "laugh out loud" moments & moments where I winced with empathy for Bean, her sister, & her mom, & others in the Holladay clan.
Believable characters & real life dilemmas.
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