"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 14-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.
Editors Select, April 2013 - As a nerdy book type, I always thought I had a pretty good handle on all of the book-to-movie adaptations out there—until this little gem was presented in a meeting two months ago. I had zero idea that one of my all-time favorite movies started out as a book, but now I can’t WAIT to listen to it. Patty Dann’s debut novel was a small hit when it released back in 1986, earning the attention of book clubs and filmmakers alike, but the success of the movie starring Winona Ryder and Cher may have wiped away cultural knowledge of the book. Regardless, reviews of the original work continue to be glowing, and I’m more than excited to experience the tumultuous Flax family in narrator Elizabeth Evans’ capable hands. Emily, Audible Editor
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