Ferris Beach is a place where excitement and magic coexist. Or so Mary Katherine "Katie" Burns, the only child of middle-aged Fred and Cleva Burns, believes. Shy and self-conscious, she daydreams about Ferris Beach, where her beautiful cousin, Angela, leads a romantic, mysterious life.
It is the early 1970s, and when the land across the road from the Burns's historic house is sold to developers, Misty Rhodes—also from Ferris Beach—and her flamboyant parents move into the nearest newly built split-level. In contrast to Katie’s composed, reserved, practical mother, Misty and her mother are everything Katie wants to be: daring, outrageous, fun. The two girls become inseparable, sharing every secret, every dream—until one fateful Fourth of July, when their lives change in a way they could never have imagined.
In this classic McCorkle novel, the author's shrewd grasp of human nature creates characters that resonate with truth and emotion, and a story perfect for mothers and daughters to share and cherish.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Little Katie Burns, whose distinguishing physical feature is a wine-colored birthmark on her face, suffers from a tense relationship with her staid, seemingly conservative mother. Like many young girls, she doesn't think of herself as beautiful and she often wishes she had a different mother and imagines, half-seriously, that perhaps she is an orphan adopted into the wrong family. She envies her best friend, Misty, who has the "cool" mom of the neighborhood, and dreams that her mysterious, flighty, fashionable older cousin Angela might be her "real" mother. Similarly, she admires her beautiful classmate Perry Loomis, whom she idealizes for her easygoing popularity with boys. These idols, whose desirable qualities are little more than illusory facades over troubled lives, resemble the nearby Ferris Beach, a resort that Katie visited once, when she was five years old and remembers far more fondly than its ramshackle character warrants.
For Katie, then, growing up means both...
This novel begins well, has some startling moments within and finishes unfortunately with a splat. It runs on for too long, and between unnecessary length and lack of reading for corrections, the story itself tends to get lost. Careful editing and a nearby wastebasket (is that obsolete because of laptops?) would have engendered a story that has merit. Basic story: young Southern girl growing up encounters a new neighbor across the street with whom she will have a wonderful friendship. She adores her father, tolerates her mother, and romanticizes her relative, Angela, who pops up periodically when in need. The boy in her life changes during the years we cover, cleaning himself up (in every direction) and realizing there are possibilities in his life other than those of his shiftless family. After three emotional catastrophes, our girl wakes to the value of her mother, the knowledge of Angela's slatternly behavior, and the reader knows that the painful act of growing up has yielded...
Ferris Beach is a classic coming of age story in the south in the 70's. It takes place in a small NC town, inland from the title town. While the characters are likable and amusing, the story is a bit "Lifetime movie" for my tastes. Certainly, if you love this genre, or grew up in the 70's in a small town in NC, you would enjoy this book. Just be advised that the kindle edition is filled with numerous typos-I wish I had only paid $1.99 and not $3.99!
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