A Ticket to Ride
By Paula Mclain
(Ecco, Hardcover, 9780061340512, 272pp.)
Publication Date: January 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Categories: Coming of Age
Remember that girl? The one who was impossibly cool, who taught you how to blow smoke rings, cut school, sneak out of the house? Remember how you turned yourself inside out trying to be just like her--and then she broke your heart?
Set in the long, hot summer of 1973, Paula McLain's lyrical debut novel explores what happens when an insecure, motherless teenager falls under the dangerous spell of "that girl"--her older cousin Fawn. Fawn's worldly ways are mesmerizing to Jamie, who submits to a makeover--both inside and out--to win Fawn's approval. But over the course of a summer wrecked with tragedy and loss, Jamie learns that Fawn will use anything and anyone to further her own motives. When a local girl goes missing, Jamie realizes how dangerous Fawn truly is, and recognizes, too late, her own complicity in the disaster that unfolds around them.
Paula McLain's poignant debut is a compelling family portrait that explores the darker sides of love and loyalty.
"...a haunting coming-of-age story...sun-dazzled prose that hides a cold, foreboding underbelly...gorgeous writing."
-Gillian Flynn, author of Sharp Objects
"Absorbing, tantalizing, and super-heated as an endless summer day."
-Michelle Wildgen, author of You're Not You
"Paula McLain has put a poet's ear to the urgency of adolescence...a strong throb of a first novel."
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
".poet and memoirist McLain compels as she excavates two tragedies."
"Assured and ambitious... the complicated bonds of a makeshift family... lyrical precision. A deft and haunting book."
-Katharine Noel, author of Halfway House
"...a vivid portrait of the summer of '73...the relationships it expores are timeless...a genuine literary accomplishment."
-Dan Chaon, author of You Remind Me of Me
"[McLain's] writing is gorgeous, and Jamie and Fawn are heartbreakingly real."
-Katrina Kittle, author of The Kindness of Strangers
"Filled with mystery and longing, McLain lays bare the raw emotion that guides us all..."
-Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle
"...[A] beautifully written book...deeply felt and engrossing--an immense pleasure to read."
-Leah Stewart, author of The Myth of You and Me