23 December 2013

Girlchild; Tupelo Hassman

GirlchildGirlchild by Tupelo Hassman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not the easiest read for several reasons: first, the subject matter (which - semi-spoiler alert - includes sexual molestation and incest) and second, the writing style.

The subject matter was difficult because it highlights a version of America that we don't always want to admit exists, or (given that this is written sometime in the past) existed. There are people like this out there - I went to public school with the upstate New York version of some of them. It's still easy for entire families to slip through the cracks, to not be caught (or want to be caught) by the so-called safety net. Teens getting pregnant and not having abortions? It still happens. Ditto teens keeping those children and starting families way too early.

As for the writing style, it was difficult in an elliptical fashion, as sometimes we were in the present, other times in the past. It would have worked better had the writing matured as Rory matured. The redacted pages were powerful, more powerful than any explicit language could have been, and a good choice.

Copy provided by publisher.

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