Four Corners: A Novel

Front Cover
MacAdam/Cage Publishing, 2001 - Fiction - 261 pages
2 Reviews
When ten year old Rainey Dougherty's mother is hospitalized for mental instability, Rainey and her 4 siblings find themselves at the mercy of Merle, their irreverently funny and bitter aunt, who comes up to the country from the Bronx with her troubled fourteen year old daughter Joan, to take care of that goddamn bunch of nuts she knows these children are.

For Rainey, this starts a summer of enlightenment where she learns about the realities of life through the eyes of innocence. We chart Rainey's course through a year that is often harrowing, sometimes hilarious, but always hopeful. Merle's voice is the one clear note in Rainey's head as she begins a season without her mother, a season that brings both Joan and Rainey again and again to the brink of disaster.

Time and again it is the force of Merle's voice, stale and tough as old gum, that Rainey chews on and eventually swallows, that rescues her from disaster. But when Merle is silenced, and Joan is lost, Rainey is left to take her first step outside the confines of her family, unguided, and into her own future. It is this step that will make all the difference in her life, a step forward that she will never forget.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nightprose - LibraryThing

This novel takes place in 1953, in Four Corners, N.Y. where "nothing ever happens". What happens in this novel is heart wrenching and quite unforgettable. Rainey is a ten year old girl, who is wise ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

I absolutely ENJOYED reading this book! The writing draws you into the story. This book is a character study. The reader has an opportunity to explore how the characters interact with each other. I do feel that the ending was very ambiguous. I need more details! Other than that, I was enthralled with this book. 

Selected pages


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Diane Freund found herself with four children at the age of twenty-three--with a fifth to come later--and worked as a waitress for eighteen years to support her brood. She returned to school for an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arizona, Tucson. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Arizona South. This is her first novel.

Bibliographic information