The Full Cleveland: A Novel

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"When we were rich, we had no real use for the Easter Bunny." With trademark elegance and wit, Boyce Parkman, the young narrator of Terry Reed's smart, sexy novel, The Full Cleveland, begins the story that follows a privileged Shaker Heights family's dramatic reversal of fortune -- and an American girl's unforgettable coming-of-age.

Bright, athletic, charming, the five Parkman children appear to be living the American dream in a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood. But as Boyce is transformed from a precocious ten-year-old into a passionate, idealistic young woman, she comes to see the dream as an illusion. Part of the problem is her parents. Dad, the Protestant, seems intent on nurturing his children with the noble ideals of an obsolete generation. He wants them to see great works of art and to witness the realities of life on the other side of the tracks, in the slums of inner-city Cleveland. Mother, the Catholic, is hell-bent on having her kids achieve something in life, and her method is to make them pray for it. Add the confusing influences of teenage life in a charmed world -- the gorgeous girls, the beautiful boys, the sudden friend: school genius, scholarship student, and bus driver's daughter.

Finally Boyce has to find her own philosophical path through the turmoil of her adolescence and the unraveling of her family's fortunes. Her first real love, her first defiant act, her first glimpse of a universe outside her own all mark her as she navigates her way through comic detours and unexpected turns of fate.

Here is an original voice that dazzles and delights, a heroine both fierce- hearted and funny, who sets out to find the true meaning of success. In the end, the fortune lost is seamlessly linked with childhood's passing, becoming a deft metaphor for the journey of everyman, and every girl. The Full Cleveland takes its place on the short shelf of great coming-of-age fiction.
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About the author

Terry Reed wrote the original screenplay for the independent film Cherry, released in 2000. A graduate of the Columbia University MFA Writing Program, she lives in New York City.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Nov 1, 2007
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781416589778
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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America is a country of characters, many of them larger than life, many of them shrinking from life, and many tenaciously asserting their individuality even as they succumb to the weight of life. As the author observes, "Asserting ones identity obviously has its penalties, but to do so is infinitely greater than proceeding to ones grave without having achieved the fullest of self-realization. As an extraordinary American lyric poet, arguably the best at her art, Emily Dickinson created an enduring place for herself not only in American letters but in world literature. Notwithstanding, her grave is behind a Mobil filling station in Amherst, Massachusetts." This is a broad-spectrum, academically oriented book, an historical, sociological and ideological examination of the continuing acrimonious mutual conflict waged between America's loners and joiners. Divided into five chapters, it is generously researched, provocatively iconoclastic, contrarian and comical. The initial chapter defines and copiously illustrates the plight of individuality and its collision with collaboration in American life. It then moves from classical and renaissance culture and philosophy into the subject as it is tellingly, abundantly and amusingly illustrated in American literature from Franklin through Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, Whitman and Twain. The second chapter advances into the 20th and 21st centuries, exploring the essence of the conflict as illustrated biologically, socially and anecdotally the object being to elucidate the causes of division between the minority who function well as hermits and the majority that inexorably forms itself into insidious herds. The third chapter, "What Price Affiliation?" examines such nefarious matters as Group Think, the rise of corporate culture and trade unionism. The fourth chapter examines even more intensively the intellectual and emotional costs of fraternal life. The fifth and final chapter looks closely at the American intellectual as loner and outcast. It's all good stuff, and an exceedingly provocative good read.
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