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 (Disposal of Outgrown Uniforms; The Right Use of Your Body; Finding Your Way When Lost) for tips to
The prose-poem style made it an interesting read, but I think that sometimes that same style also got in the way. The protagonist is likable enough, and the world that Hassman has created is believable. You can see the Calle in to...more
The cover caught my eye. A trailer that looks like it would feel at home in my trailer park but set in the desserts of Nevada.
I started reading and it knocked me over to read a story that followed my own childhood eerily close. It didn't hide how common child sexual abuse is, but it didn't go into painful detail either. I think it was the perfect balance on such a difficult topic for so many (too many) women.
This story is not an easy read. It deals with those living in p...more
*Please note that this review contains some profanity, all contained within quotes from the book.
To love Girlchild as much as I did, you have to be willing to understand “raw.” Several times while I was reading this book, my husband looked at my face and asked me what was wrong. (I was alternating between tears brimming over and horror leaving my mouth agape.)
Rory Dawn suffers neglect, mistreatment and abuse at the hands of those trusted to care for her. Growing up in a Nevada t...more
Tupelo Hassman's novel with the heartbreaking character Rory Hendrix should be required reading for those who oppose women's rights. Obviously her mother in the novel, Jo, didn't make that choice with Rory or the other four brothers that departed as soon as possible.
Jo is an alcoholic smoker, a bartender, and seemingly has no end of men friends over. They live in the Calle de l...more
In this nov...more
I began the new book I found "Girlchild"and had to stop because it is so superb and not having anyone to share it with too frustrating.What Vonnegut began,that totally modern “thinking out loud writing” that now seems to have taken hold in so much work and I believe will become the defining style of the 21st century,possibly due to the absorption of Facebook,Youtube and such and those innovating publ...more
I hold onto my Handbook because nothing else makes promises like that around here, promises with these words burning inside them: honor, duty and try. Try and duty I hear all the time, as in "try to get some sleep," and "get me some duty-free cigarettes from the Indian store," while honor's reserved solely for the Honorable Joseph A. on The People's Court, as in, "Your Honor, I was just trying to get my wallet out for the duty-free cigs when my gun went off," but these words never ever show thei...more
'Girlchild' is the story of what it means to a little girl when men find boredom in a trailer park near Reno, when all that they can see is the desert. This is told from the point of view of Rory Dawn Hendrix (from her name I envisioned her parents as a Gilmore Girl and a rock star.) Most of the chapters are less than three pages, and some of the story is told through social service reports or pages of a Girl Scout handbook. I was a bit wary when I heard the story was about abuse. It is certainl...more
And there is so much more: heartbreaking and honest, fearless and unique, well-written and interesting, unflinching and real.
I'll say two things here: 1.) I have a feeling that this book, and more Hassman's style is not for everyone and 2.) the first 1/4 of the book takes patience, mostly due to that...more
Hassman's debut novel is an unflinching look at an underclass of undesirables that society prefers to think about only when making them the fodder of jokes and bad television sit-coms.
Through prose that is engaging and direct, Hassman lays bare the inner mind of a young girl Rory, growing up trying to make sense of her own dignity and self-worth in a place that society has deemed worthless and hopeless.
Hassman has the ability t...more
Spoilers ahead, don't say I didn't warn you:
What I liked about this book was the author writing about real-life issues such as sexual abuse and how rampant it is, poverty, substance abuse, and alcoholism.
I liked the book for the most part. I thought it was fairly good, but I didn't like that it left me feeling depressed in the end, instead of hopeful for the main character.
I think the ending was supposed to be uplifting because Rory finally gets to leave Calle street, but I really...more
Rory Dawn lives with her mother on the outskirts of Reno in the 1980s. On the Calle, the only way you get out of poverty is in a pine box and no one expects different from Rory. A battered copy of the Girl Scout Handbook has Rory thinking of the world beyond the trailers of the Calle.
I had such high expectations for this book. It won ALA's Alex Award and the description sounded interesting and like something I could relate to. I also loved the cover b...more
This is a book that is driven by character and experimental style rather than plot. In fact, there really is no plot to this book. This is a story where we learn about the main character and her family through a seri...more