The Lost Daughter (Berkley, 2012)
In the same way that Judi Dench won an Oscar in 199 for eight minutes of screen time in "Shakespeare in Love," Ms. Ferriss's prologue is a doozy at a mere 11 pages . . . . [Ferriss] has a real knack for creating dramatic tension."
--The New York Times
The opening pages of Ferriss’ sixth novel (Leaving the Neighborhood, 2001, etc.) are a harrowing overture to a book that’s soaked with domestic tension. Ferriss’ main message is that the truth will always come out, and she
often gives this scenario a convincing,
Franzen-style realism.... A powerful domestic novel.
Graceful, poised Brooke loves her small family, but she's afraid of making it bigger, not for any medical reason but because of a heartbreaking secret from her past. When he husband pushes for more children, an old boyfriend comes back into the picture ... and spurs Brooke to revisit that painful moment 15 years ago. What follows is an emotionally riveting story of reliving mistakes, seeking redemption, and finally facing the consequences of a difficult decision.... Ferriss moves the plot along at a fast clip, deftly weaving together recollections of the past and, as the disturbing truth of Brooke's secret slowly emerges, the present. All the while, Ferriss infuses the story with a heady dose of realism. Financial crisis looms as businesses close, workers get laid off, and consultants are brought in to "streamline." Lost Daughter manages to be a romantic family novel with a palpable atmosphere of impending calamity. Sure, there's a happy ending, but that doesn't mean everything's right in the world.
Ferriss sets up a compelling story of the impact Brooke's secret has
on her family. She's built a protective wall around her life, but Alex's
return puts everything at risk. Brooke's husband may be the character
with the most to lose: Sean thinks Brooke married beneath herself and
fears he will lose his wife to her high school boyfriend. As a couple, Brooke and Sean are believable because they
know so much about each other, yet both also harbor secrets with the
power to damage their marriage. And Ferriss, to her credit, sheds much
light on the struggles in their partnership as well as the strengths.
--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Ferriss’ latest is a deeply emotional book with lyrical writing. It is a
modern story with deep underlayers, making it more meaningful than just
a light read. The characters, deeply flawed but very human, draw you
in. They’re making choices blindly, since they never can see the future
clearly, and then they must live with the results as they come.
--RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
The Lost Daughter may be Lucy Ferriss’ best work yet.
It is a story of love, loss and a chance chance at redemption. All of
Ferriss’ characters are flawed, which is part of what makes the story so
realistic and the reality is what makes it so haunting. Who among us
hasn’t done something really dumb and/or dangerous, something that
haunts us to this day? Brooke O’Conner has lived with her mistake for
years – and will forever. But as she owns up to it, takes
responsibility and speaks of what she has kept buried, we applaud her
strength and root for her. There are not pat endings in The Lost Daughter
– sometimes what is lost can never be found, and even if it is, it is
damaged. Instead of happily ever afters, Ferriss has given us a story
of second chances and atonemeant. In The Lost Daughter, Ferris takes us on a journey of sadness and redemption – and it’s a journey the reader won’t forget.
The Lost Daughter by Lucy Ferriss is a heartbreaking tale of a long-buried secret between two young lovers.... I was hesitant to read The Lost Daughter due to the sensitive subject matter, but I gave the book a chance and I am glad that I did. The Lost Daughter
delivers everything you expect from a good story; the characters are
flawed yet beautifully written and the details are perfectly placed. Lucy Ferriss
courageously weaves through a very delicate topic with ease, whilst
making you think the entire time about what you would do if you were in
the character’s shoes. I tore through each page wondering where the
story would take me.
This is an intriguing character study that looks deeply at the long term
impact of difficult decisions made as a teen still haunting the adult
over a decade and a half later.... Contemporary readers will appreciate this bittersweet extended poignant
family drama starring real people with baggage that hinders each of
--Genre GoRound Reviews
If you are looking for a book that you can’t put down and have to keep reading to find the end, that is The Lost Daughter by Lucy Ferriss. Reminiscent of Jodi Picoult’s style of storytelling,
Ferriss has created a drama that is filled with love, pain and
everything in between.... Ferriss has crafted a tale of love, loss and pain that intertwines
together to create a shocking beginning, and an even more shocking
ending. Readers will love the wild ride she takes you on and it is sure
to be a book that you pick up time after time to relive the character’s
lives and uncover their stories once again.
--Crazy Book Reviews
Unveiling the Prophet: The Misadventures of a Reluctant Debutante (U. Missouri, 2005)
Skillfully intertwining regional history, national history, and personal experience, Ferriss… tells this bittersweet but often laugh-out-loud funny tale…. Unveiling the Prophet touches lightly but evocatively and perceptively on a range of subjects from the past, present, and future of St. Louis to the ferment of racial, sexual, and cultural politics in the seventies to the way one eloquent woman looks back with affection and a bit of regret at her younger self, her family, and the social world that shaped her youth.
--Peyton Moss, Foreword
The book’s most wonderful aspect is its sharp humor and dazzling
writing. Smart without being stuffy, incisive without being pedantic,
Ferriss’s exploration of St. Louis’s Veiled Prophet Ball is a must
read….Unveiling the Prophet reaches across decades to reveal an arcane
society’s dark secrets, to explore racial and economic injustices—and to
tell one hell of a good tale. This is one of the best books of the
--St. Louis Riverfront Times
Nerves of the Heart (U. Tennessee, 2002)
Beautiful…. This is a fine novel in its own right, with sympathetic, well-defined characters faced with impossible decisions and heartbreaking circumstances. It goes beyond good storytelling, though, in its sensitive yet candid treatment of the ethical and emotional dilemma posed by the transfer of living organs,--The Advocate (TN)
Leaving the Neighborhood and Other Stories(Mid-List, 2001)
Sad and soaring and sexy, these stories reveal fragmented and fragile lives, the way people live now. Never easy choices, and never anything but lyrical, honest prose.
Lucy Ferriss’s elegant and fearless Leaving the Neighborhood does
what Raymond Carver said that short stories should do: tell us what
everybody know but what nobody is talking about—at least not publicly.
These stories speak hard, elusive truths about sex and marriage and
family; no reader’s false pieties will be left unchallenged.
Ferriss’s strength as an author is her uncanny ability to layer so
many emotions in her fiction….. This is a beautifully written
collection, worthy of winning a prize.
--Pioneer Press (Twin Cities)
The Misconceiver (Simon & Schuster, 1997)
Thought-provoking and disturbing…. It’s not really fair to Ferriss to say The Misconceiver is “in the vein of The Handmaid’s Tale,” as her publisher does on the jacket. It’s too subtle and original for that.
--Contra Costa Times
Ferriss infuses The Misconceiver with integrity through her taut
style, her tense plot and exciting subplots, and her characters, both
quick and dead…. The Misconceiver stands stalwartly by John
Irving’s Cider House Rules as a compassionate novel about abortion and,
thus, about women.
--St. Louis Post Dispatch
Phoebe’s eventual understanding of how she will gain the courage to
struggle against the complex web of inhumane policies adds tension and
emotional catharsis. And her knowledge of how she will share her life
has real poignancy. If in this novel Ferriss makes you think, she will
also make you feel.
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A powerful, painful book.” – Frederick Busch
Against Gravity (Simon & Schuster, 1996)
Lucy Ferriss eloquently offers a chilling variation of the small town…. Stick is a narrator who is worth listening to, not because she can fit her experience into some overarching construct, but because she cannot. And because she moves ahead anyway, confused and valiant in a universe that seems to have no shape.
--New York Times Book Review
A portrait of the private wreckage that litters much of our lives,
defined by the metaphor of a public catastrophe…. This is a novel that
tell more than the boom, tells more than the color of flames and horror.
It makes sense of the aftermath, what comes after the clouds of smoke
and the wreckage have fallen to the sea.
Against Gravity carries a kind of grace, making apparent the miracle of greatness in ordinary life.
A gripping coming-of-age story…dense and richly evocative.
With a keen ear for dialogue and a ken for how we grow without
knowing it, Ferriss presents … an intoxicating tale which will surely
insinuate its way into you.
A complex, satisfying work, Against Gravity will provoke readers to dredge buried memories.
The author invests her characters with a gritty reality that will
touch a tender place in readers…. The reader sees through Stick’s
tough-girl persona, roots for her to become herself, to reach the place
where she can name the things she cares about.
--St. Louis Post Dispatch
A beautiful novel about family and love, from one of the best writers around.
Against Gravity is tough, grave, and sweet… a book that will stay with me for a long time.
The Gated River (Franklin Watts, 1986)
Ferriss writes with mesmerizing power and confidence. Her characters throb with life, and her story takes turns that alternately fire and chill the blood.
Ferriss’s first novel, Philip’s Girl, showed a strong, fresh voice at
work; The Gated River gives us that voice in its full and mature
strength. This is the voice of a major writer, one whose career seems
firmly on track.
--St. Louis Post Dispatch
Philip’s Girl (Schocken, 1985)
Some books prove vibrantly that less is more, that intricacies and nuances of character generate far greater excitement, suspense, and drama than convolutions of plot…. The lovely lines we hear Annie speak, the deepening spiritual change we are privileged to watch, all contribute to our palpable pain…. This first novel is an auspicious debut.
Ferriss precisely traces the evolution of feeling.
--New York Times Book Review
Tight, cleanly structured, and polished….The author’s voice is
intelligent and her analysis shrewd….Interiors—the parts that matter—are
brilliantly drawn, and the prose itself is often superb.
--St. Louis Post Dispatch