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Girl Trouble: Stories

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  560 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Girl Trouble, a Harper Perennial paperback original, is Rona Jaffe Award winner Holly Goddard Jones’s debut short story collection, set around small-town Southerners caught in moral and sometimes mortal quandaries. Written with extraordinary empathy and maturity, and with the breadth and complexity of a novel, these eight beautifully written, achingly poignant, and occasio ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2009)
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Nov 24, 2009 ModCloth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 13, 2015 stefano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, short-stories, usa

Stupendissimo libro di racconti, talmente stupendo che non l'avevo ancora finito e già sono andato a comprarne un altro, di Holly Goddard Jones, che non si sa mai che lo finisca e poi resti senza. Era da un po', da un bel po', da un bellissimo po', che non mi capitava una sensazione del genere con uno scrittore nuovo. La sensazione che appena lo finisci ne vuoi subito un altro, ché mica può bastare quello che hai letto. Era successo con Bukowski, centosei anni fa, e poi con Welsh e poi con Phili
Oct 17, 2012 Elalma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chi ama la letteratura nordamericana contemporanea rimarrà folgorato da questi racconti. Sono sette piccole storie che si svolgono in una cittadina di provincia, Roma del Kentucky, simili tra di loro nella povertà, disperazione, solitudine, ma ognuno di queste porta a conoscenza un animo diverso, che vorrebbe evadere da una realtà cruda e banale e nello stesso tempo ne rimane profondamente invischiato.
Jun 06, 2014 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I protagonisti di questi racconti sono tra i più vivi che mi è capitato di incontrare finora.
Ho trovato le loro storie dure e crudeli, estremamente reali, ed alcune così scomode ed indigeste che risultano difficili da mandare giù.
La scrittura è eccellente, essenziale; davvero una bella scoperta quest'autrice.
May 16, 2014 Hendecam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 11, 2010 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jul 25, 2015 comablack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, ebook

"Questa America" è il perfetto ritratto della provincia americana.
Sette storie ambientate a Roma, Kentucky. Sette storie di gente comune, di amori, sofferenze, sconfitte, rivincite. Una più bella dell'altra! Sottolineo scritte magistralmente, già dalla prima frase ti innamori di ogni racconto.
E poi la "batosta" finale: l'ultima racconto si intreccia con il terzo. Perchè è vero, ogni racconto è a sè stante, compiuto, ma alla fine si scopre la verità su ciò che è
Nov 30, 2012 Ffiamma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: donne, americana
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.
Dec 01, 2015 Ginger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern
This collection was immensely enjoyable, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Absolutely riveting, true, and hard to read.

I have never been one much for short stories, but lately I can't get enough. I picked this collection up years ago, upon the recommendation of some magazine I cannot remember (likely Garden & Gun), and it was indeed very southern, thru and thru.
May 29, 2012 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Benjamin Chandler
Mar 16, 2014 Benjamin Chandler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 01, 2013 Elise Hamilton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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.
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.
Scott Sanders
Jul 14, 2010 Scott Sanders rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Richard Thomas
Feb 23, 2010 Richard Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 16, 2016 Darcy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I don't know if I would ever recommend this book to others, but it was important in my journey.
Apr 02, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, marvelous, painfully wonderful collection. I'm a fan!
Gabriel Valjan
Jan 15, 2016 Gabriel Valjan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ll try to give a synopsis of each story without any spoilers, along with a sample quote to showcase the author’s writing. Holly Goddard Jones is a talented writer in the same way Richard Yates, Andre Dubus, and Raymond Carver convey the dangers of dead end streets in suburbia or domestic complacency. I don’t think of her as a regional writer, as some reviewers have in their reviews. Is that same accusation leveled at Tom Franklin, William Gay, Joe Lansdale, Donald Ray Pollock, or Daniel Woodre ...more
Mar 23, 2011 Casey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 21, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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-
Dec 28, 2011 Lobotomy42 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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
Sally Allen
Aug 14, 2013 Sally Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Patrick Faller
Jul 09, 2010 Patrick Faller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 04, 2009 Ethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Apr 11, 2010 Alexa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ladies
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
Sep 26, 2012 Shana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.
More about Holly Goddard Jones...

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