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Review: Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman

Title: Girlchild
Author: Tupelo Hassman
Year Published: 2012

Genre: Adult fiction
Pages: 288
Rating: 4 out of 5

Geography Connection (my Google Reading map): USA (Nevada)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book for my iPad

Summary (from Amazon): Rory Hendrix is the least likely of Girl Scouts. She hasn't got a troop or even a badge to call her own. But she's checked the Handbook out from the elementary school library so many times that her name fills all the lines on the card, and she pores over its surreal advice (uniforms, disposing of outgrown; the right use of your body; finding your way when lost) for tips to get off the Calle: that is, the Calle de los Flores, the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother, Jo, the sweet-faced, hard-luck bartender at the Truck Stop. Rory's been told she is one of the "third-generation bastards surely on the road to whoredom." But she's determined to prove the county and her own family wrong. Brash, sassy, vulnerable, wise and terrified, she struggles with her mother's habit of trusting the wrong men, and the mixed blessing of being too short for her own good. From diary entries, social workers' reports, half-recalled memories, arrest records, family lore, Supreme Court decisions, and her grandmother's letters, Rory crafts a devastating collage that shows us her world even as she searches for a way out of it.

Review: This book was recommended to me by one of the moms at the dance studio. She absolutely loved it and it has rave reviews on Amazon. I didn't love it, but I thought it was good and well done.

The writing style isn't one that works really well for me as the chapters are short and it doesn't always say who is narrating or where in the chronology the events are taking place. There is definitely a lot of back and forth in time, revealing bits of the story as the book progresses. I find that a little confusing when it is so vague. I got used to it about half way through and did better with it the second half.

The characters definitely pulled me in and made me sympathetic to Rory's life. She is abused, neglected, told she is stupid, and even when her mother realizes the abuse has been going on, it isn't really taken care of. Yes, she is removed from the situation, but no one helps her to heal or deal with it. For lack of a better phrase, her family is white trash and they know it. They are uneducated, don't try to better themselves, barely scrape by, and when Rory shows potential they don't do anything about it.

Parts of this book are difficult to read we learn about the abuse and the attitude surrounding it. However, for many that is reality and I think Hassman did a good job with that.

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