Monday, December 31, 2012

NaNoWriMo Research: Ellen Foster

Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons: This book is a punch in the gut, heart, and brain.  The point of view and construction are odd, and the text written in a way to somehow perfectly reflect this.  The timeline of the story is broken up.  I didn't even try to analyze the tense for consistency, but it's mostly 1st person present tense and always Ellen's.

Not for the faint of heart, this one veers into R-rated territory in a non-gratuitous and somehow even more shocking way.  I see why this one is shelved in the adult literature section instead of according to the age of the protagonist as books so often are.

I wish they had established her age and the year clearly early on in the book.  I found the dialect and the misspellings (used tastefully, not over-used) pretty believable.  You as the reader have to pull pieces together from different timelines to put together a heartbreaking story of Ellen's journey from abusive family member to abusive family member and eventually safety.

The ending seemed a bit unexpected (it came back somewhat clumsily to an earlier theme that may have made more sense/seemed more natural to a Southern audience.  Oddly enough, this became a very compelling exercise book, which led to increased ibuprofen use when I would overdo the stair climber because I just wanted to read a little further.

Thanks to T for the suggestion!

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