A Ticket to Ride (Paperback)

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"It was August. For years it was August . . . . There was heat like wet gauze and a high, white sky and music coming from everywhere at once."

In the long, hot Illinois summer of 1973, insecure, motherless Jamie falls under the dangerous spell of her older, more worldly cousin Fawn, who's come to stay with Jamie and her uncle as penance for committing an "unmentionable act." It is a time of awakenings and corruptions, of tragedy and loss, as Jamie slowly discovers the extent to which Fawn will use anything and anyone to further her own ends—and recognizes, perhaps too late, her own complicity in the disaster that takes shape around them.

About the Author

Paula McLain was born in Fresno, California in 1965. After being abandoned by both parents, she and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System, moving in and out of various foster homes for the next fourteen years. When she aged out of the system, she supported herself by working as a nurses aid in a convalescent hospital, a pizza delivery girl, an auto-plant worker, a cocktail waitress--before discovering she could (and very much wanted to) write. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996. Since then, she has received fellowships from the corporation of Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her first book of poetry, LESS OF HER, was published in 1999 by New Issues Press and won a publication grant from the Greenwall Fund of the Academy of American Poets. She's also the author of a second collection of poetry, STUMBLE, GORGEOUS (New Issues Press, 2005), a memoir, Like Family: Growing Up In Other People's Houses, and the novel, A Ticket to Ride. Her most recent book is The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Ernest Hemingway's first marriage and upstart years in 1920's Paris, as told from the point of view of his wife, Hadley. She teaches in the MFA Program in Poetry at New England College, and lives with her family in Cleveland.

Praise For…

“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.”
-Chicago Sun-Times

“[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 haunting coming-of-age story...sun-dazzled prose that hides a cold, foreboding underbelly...gorgeous writing.”
-Gillian Flynn, author of Sharp Objects

“...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

“...[A] beautifully written book...deeply felt and engrossing--an immense pleasure to read.”
-Leah Stewart, author of The Myth of You and Me

“Assured and ambitious... the complicated bonds of a makeshift family... lyrical precision. A deft and haunting book.”
-Katharine Noel, author of Halfway House

“Absorbing, tantalizing, and super-heated as an endless summer day.”
-Michelle Wildgen, author of You're Not You

Product Details
ISBN: 9780061340529
ISBN-10: 0061340529
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: January 6th, 2009
Pages: 254
Language: English