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Girl Trouble

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  442 ratings  ·  75 reviews
A high school basketball coach learns that his star player is pregnant—with his child. The nightmare of a college student's rape and murder is relived by both her mother and her killer, whose contradictory accounts call to question the very nature of victimhood. In these eight stories, the fine line between right and wrong, good and bad, love and violence is walked over an ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2009)
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After graduating last May, I found myself beset by a predicament equal parts terrifying and thrilling. For the first time in a very long time, I was in charge of my own reading list. While I was at first hopelessly lost without the structure of a syllabus, it wasn’t long before I realized I could read anything I wanted! And while I love most of the literature I’ve read for class deeply and reverently, I’ve always felt as though I had to rush to finish books – that I could never appreciate them a ...more
This is a dark collection of stories where some pretty awful things happen to everyday people, yet the tales never come off as gratuitous. Instead, they focus on the inner lives of the characters as they deal with loss, tragedies, and other life-changing events. Each story is set in Roma, Kentucky, and my two favorites happen to be linked: “Parts” and “Proof of God.”

In “Parts,” Dana continues to struggle with the loss of her daughter years after she was murdered in her college dorm room. Her ex-
Mar 13, 2010 Victoria rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Victoria by: John Kinkaide
I began reading this book as a recommendation from a professor at my school, who read the work after Jones guest-taught at my college for a semester. I was completely blown away, and read the book from start to finish over three days, in spite of it being possibly the most stressful time in my college career.

The book is about a fictional small town in central to western Kentucky, called Roma. I myself am from a very small town in western Kentucky and found myself utterly gripped by just how accu
This is an excellently written collection of stories. One of them may be added to my mental list of "Best Short Stories I Ever Read."

The stories here are mostly tragic or unhappy ones, tales of people trying to get over the past or plow through the present. Boys and girls come of age, adults nurse their wounds, and sometimes they catch a glimmer of healing or briefly escape in the tangles of their lives.

The real power behind the writing here is how Jones describes feelings. The emotions are raw,
Elise Hamilton
Very well written and compelling stories, linked by their geographical location (Roma, Kentucky), and in two stories (Parts and Proof of God) by the characters and events. Each story provided a lot to think about, and I intend to read Girl Trouble again for exactly that reason. Since I have such a small amount of library space in my current house, I don't hang on to very many books, but this one is a keeper. I'm also going to read Goddard Jones' novel, The Next Time You See Me.
Erin Tuzuner
The unnameable, but certainly not unknowable emotions that lurk in the tall grass of envy, love, slow simmering resentment, and a tame bastard of meanness and ill figured spite is an excellent breeding ground for literature. Prosaic interludes meant to heighten the magnitude of the BIG EVENTS only to serve to illuminate the dust that filters an indoor sunset.

The jerky dance of attraction and repulsion, one wobbly emotion leaning on the syntax, predictability, and fascination of another person.
Terri Jacobson
Most of the stories in this collection by Holly Goddard Jones center on girls: girls in trouble, girls causing trouble, girls coming of age, girls struggling in lonely marriages. The stories are well-crafted and the writing is good. An enjoyable reading experience.
Richard Thomas
What a fantastic debut collection of stories. I read "Parts" online before this came out, and was hooked. I was lucky enough to get to know Holly a bit at Murray State University, and this is an emotional collection, powerful and dynamic. A must read.
Scott Sanders
Wow, what a powerful writer. Holly Goddard Jones is one of those writers where I found myself saying, "Why haven't I read her before?" I'll certainly be reading more of her, that's for sure. Raw, tough stories that kept me fully engrossed.
Michael Jenkins
I will admit that I am somewhat picky rating short stories. Only because there are separate stories, thus you have to make sure that the characters are developed, concise and it makes you appreciative of the content. Although there were some parts of the story that was not my favorite, it still was not forgettable. Jones has a way in pulling the readers in, luring you to sympathize with them. Each story left a memorable impression on me but I did enjoy other parts than the first.

The first story-
Beautiful, marvelous, painfully wonderful collection. I'm a fan!
Girl Trouble, Holly Goddard Jones's debut collection (2009), is the third or fourth debut collection that I've read in row, though it isn't by any design. I suppose part of it is intentional; I have made a conscious effort to read new-ish collections by new-ish writers, so it's not a complete accident that I've read so many debut collections recently. Perhaps it's not completely fair to the respective writers, though, because inevitably I hold each collection up against the others. I guess that' ...more
Girl Trouble‘s central focus on sexual suffering in a limited environment frees it from many of the dilemmas of contemporary short fiction collections. The women-centered stories share a frustration with all-permeating male sexuality which recalls similar pieces by Lorrie Moore and Miranda July, but with neither author’s penchant for wordplay and humor. The pieces do not drag with existential angst or vagueness. Although many types of suffering are present, they are alike in their precision. Cha ...more
This author was recommended to me by the same friend who recommended I try Goodreads. While I love Goodreads so far, I was so disappointed in this book. It read like variations of the same drab, unoriginal motif. I was so bored I stopped several times while reading--how many times can you read the same unhappy story told the same unhappy way? But I promised my friend I would keep at it. I'm sorry I did. Life is too short to read such cynical, unimaginative, dry "literature."
Sally Allen
The fictional small town of Roma, Kentucky is the setting for this short story collection, just as it is for Holly Goddard Jones's subsequent novel, The Next Time You See Me. Roma, unlike other, overly romanticized, small towns, is neither quaint, nor supernatural, or even especially homey. The eight stories which unfold here are linked only by this ordinary and frequently bleak setting, with the notable exception of two: Parts and Proof of God. These two are linked by the grotesque murder of a ...more
Very rarely does it occur when I love every single selection in a short story collection, and this is one such occasion. I literally loved every moment of this book. Jones has a way of writing in plain, everyday English that draws you in and doesn't let you go. I am from Nashville (one of the cities mentioned frequently in the book) and I spent many summers with relatives in Western Kentucky. There were so many times during this book when I found myself jumping and saying "yes!" because I knew e ...more
Patrick Faller
Jones's empathy for her characters comes through in each of these nine extended narratives. Jones rounds out her small-town setting without losing sight of her obligation as a storyteller--to responsibly and faithfully explore the motivations and consequences of the choices her characters make. She's as capable of rendering a mother's grief after the rape and murder of her only daughter and the subsequent dissolution of her marriage as she is of rendering the life of the young man responsible fo ...more
Roma, Kentucky, non è la città dell'American dream, dello "Yes, we can", è una città che potrebbe trovarsi in qualunque posto del mondo; è la città di chi vive in case fatiscenti, in luoghi dimenticati da Dio e dagli uomini; di chi si fa bastare quello che mangia alla mensa scolastica; di chi sa che le proprie aspettative sono state o saranno, per quanto si sforzi, inesorabilmente deluse; di chi ama, ma viene ricambiato con la superficialità o la freddezza, quando non con la violenza. Sette racc ...more
2 & 3/4*'s; the writing was good but the stories left me wanting...more. I couldn't relate or empathize with any of the characters and the author's voice didn't realy resonate with me. The read was not a complete waste of time but I did have to force myself to finish it.

(FROM JACKET)A high school basketball coach learns that his star player is pregnant-with his child. The nightmare of a college student's rape and murder is relived by both her mother and her killer, whose contradictory accoun
Holly Goddard Jones is one of the nicest, most intelligent people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She was my Fiction professor for two semesters at Murray State University and I learned more from her than most of my other professors combined. I had no idea just how impressive her own writing was before I read her collection of short fiction. These stories are poignant, engaging, and truly heart-wrenching. I recommend this collection to anyone who wants a more fully-rounded understanding ...more
I love a good collection of short stories. The way the author can convey an entire world in small number of pages astounds me. I enjoyed this collection though it didn’t blow me away. The stories are solid, as is the writing, and in several of them I quite connected with the characters. The blue collar Kentucky setting is also vivid and tangible. Why I didn’t like these more I can’t really pinpoint. There was one story that did go on way, way, way too long. In addition, I do tend to like my shor ...more
While the stories in the book are well written I did not enjoy the style of book. I felt like the conclusion was missing.
Since I live in Bowling Green and followed the Katie Autry murder and trial closely, I cringed reading it all again - different names but same story ! Interesting stories but a collection of sad misfits!!!
I sometimes stop reading books because I don't like them. I rarely put down books for any other reason. Girl Trouble was one of those rare exceptions...I don't know that it was the place I was in when I started reading it, or if Holly Goddard Jones is just that good of a writer, but I actually had to stop reading the book halfway through because it was really getting me down. I'm definitely planning on finishing it when I'm feeling a bit less vulnerable to the bone-crushing depression she writes ...more
Stacey Myers
Not worth my time, the stories were fairly misogynistic and had no real hook to them except girls are bad for men.
Be ok with being unsettled, but then ask yourself how you move forward.
Keyshia Dorsey
very pleased with this read. even though some of the stories i kind of had to fight through i cant ignore how they made me feel.
A collection of shorts about life in a fictional Kentucky town. I guess this would be modern southern gothic? A bit dark and depressing, as others have said, but that’s what pulls you in. The characters she writes are absolutely realistic, flawed and in complicated situations sometimes, they make decisions which reverberate through the rest of their lives. Some of them are really sad, pathetic characters, others are hopeful, all blended together in a book that just makes you not want to put it d ...more
This series of short stories generally deals with the tough issues women and girls face, like unplanned pregnancy, rape and sexual assault, murder, and the falling apart of marriage. They aren’t dealt with lightly, but as a whole I found this collection to be lacking in depth and well, depressing. I really wonder why Jones chose this focus, and speculate that it may relate to some sort of traumatic event she or someone close to her has experienced. But then again why does any author write about ...more
belli e tristi questi racconti che orbitano intorno alla cittadina di roma, kentucky. in un'america di provincia- lontana dal glamour delle grandi città- si dipanano storie toccanti nel loro essere banalmente tragiche: abbandoni, separazioni, solitudini, fraintendimenti. piccoli dolori senza clamore e un senso di fallimento generalizzato- in quest'america in cui non c'è sogno ma solo speranze infrante ed esseri umani che (r)esistono, nonostante tutto, raccattando pezzi di sé.
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Holly Goddard Jones is the author of THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME (Touchstone, February 2012), a novel, and GIRL TROUBLE: STORIES (Harper Perennial, 2009). Her fiction has appeared most recently in TIN HOUSE and EPOCH, and has been anthologized in BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES 2008 and NEW STORIES FROM THE SOUTH 2007 and 2008. She was a 2007 recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award.
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