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Rat by Fernanda Eberstadt
Mar 22, 2011 | 304 Pages
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    Mar 22, 2011 | 304 Pages

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    Mar 30, 2010 | 304 Pages

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“A picaresque journey, fraught with peril . . . [amid] the beautiful, desolate, casually despoiled landscape of the Pyrénées Orientales. . . . Shrewd and sensuous.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A lush, loving regional portrait of the wild and beautiful Pyrénées Orientales of southern France. . . . [Rat] wears its literary stylishness and intelligence so lightly that you might only belatedly realize how impressive its clean prose and its trim, exquisite scenes are.” —The Washington Times

“Dazzling. . . . Eberstadt is savvy and uncompromising, and Rat is wonderfully alive.” —Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Lark and Termite
“With a light touch, Eberstadt conjures the wolves and unexpected fairy godmothers of youth. When it comes to finding love, we are all vagabonds.” —Vogue

“[An] enchanting coming-of-age tale. . . . Eberstadt has conjured an intense romance for readers in a culture whose children almost never have a chance to hitchhike through the countryside, create imaginary universes out of ruins, or get lost in the woods, even for a moment.” —Bookforum
“A rigorous, elegant piece of art.” —Slate
“From the flea markets of down-and-out rural France to the artsy upper middle class of London, [Eberstadt has] a sympathy for her character that avoids both the condescension and the romance that plague so much writing about teenagers. . . . Eberstadt, by setting two penniless kids loose, makes it seem as scary and exciting as it was in the days when highwaymen lurked in the forests.” —Harper’s
“[A] finely constructed narrative . . . [with a] fierce, openhearted heroine, who is largely at the mercy of other people’s choices. . . .  Eberstadt creates a captivating portrait of how people living hand-me-down lives, laden with objects and personal histories, start to write stories of their own.” —The New Yorker
“Rat is a beguiling young girl.” —Providence Journal
“Stunning.” —The Daily Beast
“Very enjoyable. . . . Refreshing and engaging. . . . In Rat [Eberstadt] shows us a character who is bravely robust in the face of true difficulty and whose open mind may be her salvation.” —The New Leader
“Charming. . . . Deftly captures the vicissitudes of youth and middle age in equal measure.” —More
“Eberstadt’s Huck-Finn-in-the-Pyrenees premise unfurls into a complex commentary on everything from identity and language to domesticity and terrorism. . . . The fact that so much of [Rat] feels entirely new means it must contain something like wisdom.” —The Onion’s A. V. Club
“Eberstadt’s style and acumen are bracing. She skillfully inhabits the skull of a kid saddled with a free-spirited parent and a missing one. . . . It is Eberstadt’s insight into adolescent love-as-combat that adds magic to this modern-day fairy tale.” —The Plain Dealer

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