Entering Ephesus by Daphne Athas

Entering Ephesus

By Daphne Athas

  • Publication Date: 2014-06-10
  • Genre: Historical

Book Summary

Winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award: A humorous and unparalleled account of the lives of three young sisters during the Great Depression.
It is 1939 and life has changed drastically for the Bishop family. After losing their money and being forced to abandon their lovely seaside home in Connecticut, they move to the all-black Southern town of Ephesus. Patriarch P. Q. (which might stand for Peculiar) is a dreamer whose failed attempts at various schemes have landed the Bishops in a squalid shack that never stays warm and collects soot like a dustbin. And Mrs. Bishop is having an impossible time adjusting to their less than aristocratic conditions. But adolescent daughters Irene, Urie, and the zany Loco Poco—with their eccentric personalities and clothes made from tablecloths—won’t let anything stop them from taking on the world.
Little Women meets The Grapes of Wrath, Daphne Athas’s award-winning novel has been hailed by critics and named one of the best books of the year by Time magazine. Entering Ephesus is a glorious and unforgettable story of life during the Great Depression through the eyes of three young, vivacious women.
“This is a big book in every sense of the word, glorious, fascinating and holding up perfectly . . . since its first publication. Written in nearly mesmerizing language, it’s an unforgettable story that soaks into its reader the way red dirt in this ‘drab, beaten Southern town’ permeates the cracks in a board shanty.” —Publishers Weekly
“This is a large novel which takes its time, a conducted tour with tempting stopovers and shopping-pauses at many points within a well-known Southern landscape: the fire which is in its belly is considerable, is largely female and Promethean, amoral, devouring, a headlong seeking of height in the perverse depths.” —Times Literary Supplement
“Although this second novel is full of magnolia and the kind of events that tend to weigh down southern novels (bizarre characters, inexplicable deaths, the ‘joys and sorrows of adolescence’), it is no mere exercise in nostalgia; rather an attempt of almost Lawrentian dimension and a great deal more humor to overcome the deficiencies of language—that which divides—to articulate the essence of human continuity—that which survives even death. On these terms, it succeeds.” —Kirkus Reviews

Daphne Athas has published five books, countless articles, stories, poems, and plays, and has won a dozen literary awards and honors over the past 30 years. She currently teaches writing and literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Latest Reviews

  • Entering Ephesus

    By Odetojoy
    10 best of 1971 - Times Magazine? Really? I don't understand the praise from Times or other reviews. I tried to find something redeeming throughout this novel, but was unable to.