Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review: Ellen Foster By: Kaye Gibbons

Review: Ellen Foster By: Kaye Gibbons
Release Date: Originally Published in 1987
Publisher: Vintage Books
Genre: Fiction

The Story: (from Goodreads) "When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy. I would figure out this or that way and run it down through my head until it got easy." So begins the tale of Ellen Foster, the brave and engaging heroine of Kay Gibbons's first novel, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Institute of Arts and Letters. Wise, funny, affectionate, and true, Ellen Foster is, as Walker Percy called it, "The real thing. Which is to say, a lovely, sometimes heartwrenching novel. . . . [Ellen Foster] is as much a part of the backwoods South as a Faulkner character—and a good deal more endearing."

My Review: This book was short, but not really a "quick" read. This story was told from the perspective of a young girl, Ellen, who is around the age of 11. She tells her story of fear, abuse, loneliness, heartbreak, and her search for a home. She expressed no trace of self-pity in her tale, but shares the struggles she faced with heart-wrenching honesty.

As I expressed with a fellow reader, this book was not one you can actually "like." What I mean by this is simply that you could say it was powerful, insightful, etc., but it would be very difficult to say it was enjoyable to read about the sufferings of this young girl.

I found this book to be very sad, though it does express hope as well. Ellen is a character that will haunt you even as she expresses the power of the human spirit to rise above the circumstances and move forward past the emotional and mental anguish that was inflicted by others.

My Rating: I chose to refrain from giving an actual "rating" for Ellen Foster for the very reasons listed above.


Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

I don't often read books like this any more. They truly do stick with me--haunt me. But this may be one worth picking up. Thanks for pointing it out. I hadn't heard of it.

Unknown said...

Great review Julie. Sounds like this book was a serious read! Oh my gosh. I tend to be overly emotional over these types of books too but I may have to check this one out! Thanks!