on April 13, 2015 :
We name those things and people we value, and so Girl unnames herself, casting off her old identity after a brutal rape. But now she has to cast off all the identities others give her too. Replacing the rules of the Torah with laws of her own, honoring no-one, and writing her own dark script, she passes through almost mythical tests and trials to reinvent herself as an upscale whore. Meanwhile she reads and fills the hole in herself with wisdom and wit. Meanwhile, someone else has other plans to fill Girl’s life, and she becomes Woman.
Girl is the sort of unsettling novel that makes the reader switch seamlessly from belief to disbelief and back again. It’s beautifully, powerfully written, filled with a series of dangerous characters, deeply drawn so evil can show its human side and crime can reveal its hidden cause. World-spanning cruelties and wildly different paths to self-destruction come into focus around real people who hurt, care, and try their best to survive. But sometimes survival’s not the most important thing after all.
Girl will make you question pre-conceptions. The prose will draw you close to Girl, then cast you aside as she detaches again from her past and reinvents her life. It will make you long for salvation, as humor and pathos give way to cruel irony. And it will linger in your mind long after that final page is turned, the final myth inverted on itself. It’s a cool, dark, unflinching, scary book, with hints of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Woman of Substance in its multi-year scope and depiction of determination, reinvention, and realism. It’s also an excellent modern-day satire and an enormously relevant read.
Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)