"It's the real thing. Which is to say: a lovely, breathtaking, some-times heart-wrenching first novel. Old Ellen she call herself, and she is—an eleven-year-old ancient, as much a part of the back-wood South as a Faulkner character--and a good deal more endearing."
— Walter Percy
"A captivating, often hilarious mix of Victorian fairy tale and fresh American lingo, told by an eleven-year-old orphan driven to desperation by the wickedest relatives in literature since King Lear: She saves herself and enchants the reader by recounting her story; line by line, in a style primitive, saucy, and exhilarating."
— Alfred Kazin
"Original, compelling, and frighteningly real, the voice of Ellen Foster makes the reader know her story in her own terms. I was absorbed and moved. Kaye Gibbons is a new writer of great force. She knows how to speak to our hearts." — Elizabeth Spencer
"Look out for Kaye Gibbons! For she is on the prowl for you. And when she corners you (oh, she will corner you), she is going to snatch the heart right out of your chest."
— Gordin Lish