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A Ticket to Ride (P.S.) [Paperback]

Paula McLain
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061340529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061340529
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 614,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

ticket to ride by paula mclain a captivating story about a teenager's struggle to be accepted by her peers. "i have read it it's fantastic exciting moving a thrilling read"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An adolescent friendship forms the core of this remarkable and beautifully written novel where emotions end up colliding in a maelstrom of guilt and betrayal. At its heart A Ticket to Ride is a love story between a niece and her uncle and between a brother and his younger sister as it charts the fertile territory of family bonds and shows how rampant loyalty can sometimes have devastating consequences.

It is the summer of 1973 and the young Jamie feels an unsteady mixture of delight and hesitance when her uncle Raymond tells her that her older cousin Fawn Delacorte will be flying in from Phoenix and staying with them both for summer at their home in Moline, Illinois. Raymond doesn't elaborate on the reasons Fawn will be staying only to say that according to Fawn's mother Camille, the girl is currently "at loose ends' and a companion for the season is certainly something that could be of benefit to both girls.

Shy and diffident, Jamie considers herself "the tragic girl," the one who keeps her asthma inhaler in her lunch box, who reads to much and who spends too much time alone. So she doesn't know quite what to make of Fawn when Raymond and Jamie pick Fawn up from O'Hare International Airport and she suddenly appears at the arrival gate, looking crisp and shiny, a type of magic potion, and a walking and talking human elixir.

The friendship begins with a present of a purse, "breath-mint white, the size of an apple with a long leather strap," the object in stark contrast to Jamie's dowdy denim jumper with fat plastic buttons, and her suntan pantyhose pooling at her knees. But Jamie senses promise here and in the days after Fawn's arrival nothing and everything happens.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOOKS GOOD Al. 4 Aug 2014
By Alan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars haunting & beautifully written 29 Jan 2008
By anonymous - Published on
This novel is a treasure -- it simultaneously captures the hopefulness of a coconut-scented summer's day and the loneliness of a girl who yearns for female intimacy. Who hasn't been there? McLain's descriptions of Jamie's internal and external worlds bring it all back.

Having read all of McLain's poetry and her memoir, her new novel is no surprise. The writing is sensual and heartbreaking, the study of character honest and deep. The secrets that connect Jamie and her uncle will haunt you just as they do their characters.

If you liked Dorothy Allison's Ruth Anne in [...] out of NC or Carson McCullers's Frankie in The Member of the Wedding or Marilyn Robinson's Ruth in Housekeeping, then you'll like Paula McLain's Jamie in A Ticket to Ride.

Read this novel & then go back and read McLain's other work. You won't be sorry.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeously written, but... 17 Jan 2008
By A. You - Published on
It's gorgeously written, so I was somewhat surprised that I didn't love A Ticket to Ride. The main reason was the going back and forth between the present and the past, which I found distracting - just when I was beginning to get involved in Jamie's and Fawn's story, the novel took me back years, to find out about Suzette. And while the end made it clear why this narrative device was necessary, it didn't make it any more engaging.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A different take on this book 19 Dec 2009
By sb-lynn - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Summary, no spoilers.

This story takes place primarily in the summer of 1973, and the location is Moline, Illinois. Our 15 year old protagonist Jamie lives with her uncle Raymond. Jamie was raised in Bakersfield by her grandparents, but when the grandmother got ill, Jamie was taken in by Raymond. We know that Jamie's mother was named Suzette and that she basically abandoned Jamie when Jamie was a baby, although she did appear briefly in her life after that. Jamie has fantasized about Suzette and hopes that someday her mother will come to reclaim her. She especially was hoping this would happen when the grandmother fell ill. But Suzette did not appear.

At the beginning of this summer in 1973, Jamie's wild child cousin Fawn, aged 16, comes to live with her and Raymond. We know that Fawn was sent to live in Moline as some sort of punishment for some misbehavior at home, but Fawn's version of events comes into dispute later on in the story. What we do know is that Fawn is beautiful, manipulative, and determined to have a good time.

Plain Jamie becomes enamored with Fawn and her lifestyle, and lets Fawn influence her in both the way she looks and the way she behaves. The problem of course is that Fawn is a selfish, troubled girl, who doesn't really care about anyone else.

We know from the get-go that there is a bad ending to this summer in Moline. We don't know what it is, but the author does a good job of foreshadowing the tragedy. And the denouement is stunning and affecting - I was not expecting it.

Add to all this narrative chapters that take place years earlier, when Raymond is driving out to take care of his younger sister Suzette. We know that Suzette is a mess, and makes poor choices in life to say the least. We also know that Raymond has an almost unnatural devotion to Suzette, and that he feels it is his responsibility to keep saving her. It is at the end of the chapters that cover this period of time that we find out what happened to Suzette.

All in all, I thought this was an interesting book, yet in criticism it just wasn't the page-turner I thought it would be. In fact, I had to struggle a bit to keep reading this book. Once I got towards the end I enjoyed it more, and as I said earlier, the ending really is terrific. But the journey towards that ending just didn't work well for me, and there were times I almost stopped reading. I love books from this time period, so I was surprised I didn't love this more.

I would recommend picking the book up and reading the first few chapters. There really are indicative of the flow and style of the book and you can get an idea if this book is for you.

Meant to add - one of the fun things about this book is that all chapters are titled after lyrics (a line or two) from popular songs from the 1960s and 1970s. I had fun trying to remember the songs (missed a couple), and thought it was a clever way of describing chapter contents and relating them to the time period.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We can't change our past, and may unfortunately be destined to repeat it... 7 Mar 2011
By Shannon L. Yarbrough - Published on
Jamie lives with her Uncle Raymond because her mother Suzette left home and has always been a sort of wild child always on the go and never looking back. Jamie is a shy outcast, new in town, out of place, with no sense of belonging. And then her cousin Fawn shows up to stay with them. Fawn is gorgeous and mature, oozes confidence, and loves to flirt. She slowly pulls Jamie out of her shell one summer in the 70s as the two become friends.

There are two stories here, alternating throughout the book. We have the past where Raymond tries to find his sister and offer her protection, and then we have the present which follows Fawn and Jamie and their mischeivious friendship. Each is delicate in its own way, and also somewhat mirrors the other as your read further along.

I found the characters to be well developed and each full of mystery in a way and oh so fragile. I was so anxious to see where their conflicts would take them. This is a nice slow coming-of-age story which is, more than anything, meant to be admired for the writing itself. As the story builds to its climax, we find ourselves with less than 50 pages to read, but the journey there was both heartfelt and meaningful.

This book is about loss, and about friendships we often have as teens despite our parents warning us about that "bad kid" from around the block. It's about music, shag carpet, baby oil tans, and TV shows that definied a generation. It's about connections that we long for as human beings whether it be from a relative or just a good close friend. It's about sneaking out on a Friday night and going somehwere you aren't supposed to.

I would consider this book to be almost a teen reading level, and even targeted more toward girls, but as a man in my 30s I really did fall in love with McLain's style and thought this was a good book. What it lacked in action or in its climax, it certainly made up for in imagery and style.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LYRICAL COMING-OF-AGE TALE.... 1 Feb 2011
By Laurel-Rain Snow - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In the long hot summer of 1973, two young teenage girls push the boundaries, hoping to experience whatever it will take to make them cool, sexy, and happy.

For Jamie, the exploration is about a motherless girl searching for approval and acceptance, which is why she is so willing to follow the lead of her cousin Fawn, who has ended up in Moline, Illinois because she is trouble personified. Fawn's version of the events that brought her to Illinois casts her in the most positive light possible. And to Jamie, who has been shunted back and forth between relatives after her mother Suzette took off one day years before, Fawn's behavior may send up red flags, but she is ill-equipped to interpret the signs.

A Ticket to Ride: A Novel (P.S.) alternates between Jamie's point of view and her Uncle Raymond's, and as we follow the story arcs of the two characters, the picture fills in and presents the full story. Each chapter is titled with songs from the era, and sometimes, I could almost hear the music lilting in the background.

As the summer draws to a close, these two young girls seeking excitement have stumbled upon a whole world of trouble and tragedy.

As Jamie is trying to sort out and understand what has happened, she and her uncle finally sit down to talk, and in a few moments of soul-searching honesty, Jamie learns the whole saga about her mother and what happened so long ago. Examining the realities of the past and revisiting the moments of one hot summer full of errors in judgment, Jamie will finally begin to discover her place and her identity.

The characters are multilayered, with all the facets of real people trying to make sense of their lives, the choices they've made, and the possibilities that are left for them. Four stars for an insightful story that, while it may not be for everyone, is a relevant coming-of-age tale set during a unique time in history.
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