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Rat by Fernanda Eberstadt
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Main character of this book is a teenage girl living in the Pyrenees-Orientales area of France - sort of on the Mediterranean, near the border w/Spain. Her family existence is a few steps above hand-to-mouth, but her father, who she's never met is the son of an English celebrity model a la Twiggy. I found the world that the story takes place in to be the most intriguing part of the story. ( )
  valerieweak | May 29, 2010 |
Whether she’s trying to coax her father out of his unease, sticking up for her mournful brother, or lending a hand to her well-meaning mess of a mother, the ballsy, resourceful Rat is a kind of Neal Cassady of the autoroute; and Eberstadt elegantly moves her through very different social milieux, from the flea markets of down-and-out rural France to the artsy -upper middle class of London, with a sympathy for her character that avoids both the condescension and the romance that plague so much writing about teenagers.
added by Shortride | editHarper's Magazine, Benjamin Moser (pay site) (Apr 1, 2010)
 
It’s a long way from Park Avenue: the beautiful, desolate, casually despoiled landscape of the Pyrénées-Orientales in southernmost France, where Fernanda Eberstadt moved with her husband and children in 1998 and where she has set her latest novel....
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307271838, Hardcover)

Of The Furies, Fernanda Eberstadt’s last novel, Alexandra Jacobs wrote in the New York Observer that it “veers pretty close to genius . . . Eberstadt is an expert, sensual, and at times truly breathtaking conjurer of New York City.” With Rat, Eberstadt has found a new setting she knows well, the South of France, and the story she tells is original, powerful, and heartrending—about a child’s search for a father she has never known.

Rat is fifteen-year-old Celia Bonnet, who lives with her unmarried mother, Vanessa, a free-spirited local beauty, in a farmhouse compound with other single-parent families in the Pyrénées Orientales, a gorgeous but forlorn Mediterranean no-man’s-land just north of the Spanish Catalan border. Rat is the result of a one-night encounter between Vanessa and Gillem, the son of a London model from the 1960s, who used to spend summers in the area and whom Rat has never spoken to or met. But when Vanessa’s current boyfriend starts preying on Morgan, the orphaned nine-year-old who is Rat’s adopted brother, she decides to take Morgan and run away to her father in London. As the novel unfolds, the two children undertake a difficult journey to find the man who might finally explain to Rat who she is and where she belongs.

This is an enthralling novel with a luminous sense of place—both physical and emotional—and, at its core, a bold, engaging young heroine for our times.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:30 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Growing up in a Mediterranean farmhouse with her free-spirited mother and other single-parent families, Celia flees with a boy who has been targeted by her mother's latest boyfriend and searches for the father she has never met.

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