Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pg. 69: Paula McLain's "A Ticket to Ride"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Paula McLain's A Ticket to Ride.

About the book, from the publisher:
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.

Among the early acclaim for A Ticket to Ride:
"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

"Paula McLain has put a poet's ear to the urgency of adolescence and come back with a strong throb of a first novel.... A Ticket to Ride, has a gorgeous female specificity to it.... A Ticket to Ride is a trip well spent."
--Sharon Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Paula McLain's debut novel is a love letter to the 70's and the lost summers of teenage years.... McLain's writing is lyrical ... and the characters are achingly real. This is truly the sort of novel that, once started, is difficult to put down."
--Elizabeth Quinn, Bust Magazine

In truly stunning prose, author Paula McLain imbues her novel with such a beautiful sense of time and place, the late Sixties and early Seventies, even as she juxtaposes the lives of a mother, a daughter, and a brother who in the end tries with all his heart to help his sister.... [O]ne of the most affecting and emotionally moving books I've read in recent years."
--Michael Leonard, Curled Up With A Good Book
John Searles, of Cosmopolitan magazine included A Ticket to Ride as one of his 10 winter reads on The Today Show, Saturday, February 2nd. See the video.

Read an excerpt from A Ticket to Ride, and learn more about the author and her work at Paula McLain's website.

McLain teaches in the MFA Program in Poetry at New England College, and at John Carroll University. She is the author of two collections of poetry and a memoir.

The Page 69 Test: A Ticket to Ride.

--Marshal Zeringue