21st out of 32 books — 12 voters
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The Eliot Girls
For years, Audrey Brindle has dreamed of attending George Eliot Academy, the school where her mother, Ruth, has taught for a decade. But when she is finally admitted, she discovers a place of sly bullying, ferocious intolerance, and bewildering social standards. Ruth, meanwhile, finds her world upended by her attraction to a new teacher, and the ambitions and desires of bo ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 2013 by Douglas & McIntyre
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Picked this up at random while at the library - something I do increasingly rarely. At first I found it a bit overwritten and self-consciously first novel-ish, and I still find that Ruth's character was sort of half-drawn, with some dimensions very finely shaded and others completely missing. I also wonder, in works like this, if there isn't a way to put in some characters that are normal, for lack of a better term. Everyone is always either the protagonist or a kind of caricature - all the othe ...more
I'm still not quite sure what to make of The Eliot Girls. At the beginning, I trudged through what felt like ostentatious language for its own sake while a story struggled to claw its way out from underneath, but around page 70, a switch flipped, and I was hooked. I'm just not sure what that switch was, whether that was the book or my mindset improving. The other strange thing is that, while I read it compulsively, it was a detached compulsion. I'm not sure why I liked it, what I got from it, or ...more
A well written book, with fully developed characters and environment. Bridge captured the school world and the teenage existence in that world very realistically. But overall I was disappointed that the characters didn't reveal anything extraordinary, that they didn't lead me to any insights in how we as a society cope with that world. Being a teenaged girl is hard, especially in a place surrounded by so many other teenaged girls, just like being an adult woman is hard, living with the choices t ...more
Hey, Everyone! Please check out my interview with Toronto author Krista Bridge as we discuss private schools, bullying and her debut novel The Eliot Girls (Douglas & McIntyre, 2013). Read the interview now on my TTQ Blog. http://thetorontoquarterly.blogspot.c...
Oct 16, 2013 Ampersand Canada's Book & Gift Agency Inc rated it really liked it
This is a well written story of an exclusive private girl’s school. The main characters are a mother and a daughter whose relationship is complicated by their roles as teacher and student at the school. Bridge manages to capture the nuances of the school society both in the classroom and the staff room.