“When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy.”
With that opening sentence we are introduced to the eleven-year-old heroine of Ellen Foster, a stunning novel by Kaye Gibbons. Ellen Foster tells her own story, with an honesty, a perceptivity, and quite unselfconscious heroism. Her mother dies. She stays with her father until it becomes too dangerous. She lives with a teacher, a grandmother who blames her for her father’s marriage, then with an aunt. At the close she discovers a home where at last she is wanted and loved.
Ellen Foster takes things as they come. She judges people shrewdly and well. Her ties with her black friend Starletta are beautifully revealed. Her own courage, her humor, and her wisdom are unforgettable. Kaye Gibbons’ first novel is one to be read over and over. The little girl’s absence of self-pity, her determination, and her gratitude to those who help her, make her a heroine who lives beyond the printed page. She takes a place in our hearts.
You will love Ellen Foster: Once you read it, it will be unforgettable.
Winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation’s Citation for Fiction
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