3.7 (762 ratings by Goodreads)
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Mrs. Flax was happiest when she was leaving a place, but I wanted to stay put long enough to fall down crazy and hear the Word of God. I always called my mother Mrs. Flax.
So begins this extraordinary first novel about one wild year in the life of fourteen-year-old Charlotte Flax, when she and her sister Kate move with Mrs. Flax into a sleepy 1960's Massachusetts town. Mrs. Flax is a woman who wears polka-dot dresses and serves hors d'oeuvres for dinner every night, and Kate is a child who basically wants to be a fish.
And then there's Charlotte, who in Patty Dann's hands, is transformed into a young woman of infinite whim and variety. Charlotte's main ambition in life is to become a saint, preferably martyred, though she's Jewish. She's smitten with the shy young caretaker at the convent at the top of the hill. Dann has created a young girl who accepts the unkindness of the mad universe in which she's whirling and takes it on with a savage glee.
Charlotte Flax is like no one you have ever met--and someone you know very well.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 140 x 218 x 12mm | 263g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0312333943
  • 9780312333942
  • 995,968

Review quote

"This is a really funny book about people trying to find something to hang onto in a world that keeps shifting under their feet. Patty Dann guides us through the guerilla war between mother and daughter, through the minefields that lie between being a child and being an adult in a voice not like any we've heard before."
- John Sayles

"Pure gold...energetic...frisky...a pleasure!"
- "Kirkus Reviews"

"Antic and poignant slice-of-coming-of-age-novel...a quirky charm will delight readers!"
- "ALA Booklist"

"Charming, fresh...sharply etched."
- "Publishers Weekly"
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About Patty Dann

Patty Dann is the author of "Mermaids" (which was turned into a film starring Cher and Winona Ryder) and "The Baby Boat: A Memoir of Adoption." Dann's articles have appeared in "More Magazine" and the "Chicago Tribune." She has served as a judge for the Scholastic Young Writers Awards. She has an MFA in Writing from Columbia University and a BA in Art History from the University of Oregon. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College and the West Side YMCA. She was cited by "New York Magazine" as one of the "Great Teachers of New York City." She lives in Manhattan with her son.
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Rating details

762 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 27% (206)
4 29% (222)
3 33% (253)
2 8% (63)
1 2% (18)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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