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From a place where you don't have to run away to find yourself, this novel's young heroine, Berry, joins the ranks of other memorable and spirited girl narrators such as Bone in "Bastard Out of Carolina," Kaye Gibbon's "Ellen Foster," Lily Owens in "The Secret Life of Bees," and Scout from "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Buy As Hot as it Was You Ought to Thank Me book by Nanci Kincaid from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780316009140
ISBN-10: 0316009148
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 140mm x 25mm)
Pages: 100
Imprint: Back Bay Books
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publish Date: 1-Feb-2005
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » Feisty teenager copes with first love, glasses, disasters, and wayward adults in this fourth novel from Kincaid (Verbena, 2002, etc.). Berry Jackson is trudging through adolescence in the overheated hamlet of Pinetta, Florida. The absence of shopping malls and superhighways, and the presence of cat's-eye frames, Rexall lunch counters, quicksand, and chain gangs suggest the 1950s or early '60s. Fluent in the local patois, undeterred by myopia and misgivings about her appearance, Berry is a garrulous observer of the teeming life around her. She shares a bedroom with her two brothers, younger Wade and older, oversexed Sowell, inheritor of the family good looks. Mom Ruthie feeds hobos, slings coffee, and moons over the Methodist minister, Butch Lyons. Ford Jackson is a revered school principal but a cipher of a father. On the social ladder, the Jacksons fall midway between the Longmonts, who own the gas station/grocery, and the Millers, who inhabit a kudzu-choked shack and overbreed. Episodic vignettes establish an atmosphere in which serpents, poisonous and nonpoisonous, aren't just archetypes but everyday nuisances. Butch Lyons skips town, and the Methodists are called to hear Jewel Longmont confess to a dalliance with him. The story, after a languorous start, accelerates when a tornado hits. The big storm follows "goodbye-night," a prom where the Millers' abused and gorgeous elder daughter, Rennie, makes her glamorous debut in a borrowed dress. Ford Jackson drives her home through a flood-and both disappear. Much of Pinetta is leveled by the twister, and the state sends in convicts to help reconstruct, including Raymond, who rescues Berry both from snakebite and wallflower-dom. Ruthie finds a safe harbor with Jack Longmont after Jewel flees with her daughter, Marie. In a diva-ex-machina ending, Rennie returns to expose some lies and perpetuate others, before the swamp extrudes the truth about the missing pillars of Pinetta. Sometimes denser than a tangle of snakes, but Berry's story never fails to engage. (Kirkus Reviews)


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