Sarah's Reviews > Lark

Lark by Tracey Porter
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's review
Nov 04, 2011

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Read on November 04, 2011

This was such a dark, dark book, and I can't say I enjoyed it. But it did have some lovely writing and I loved the way the author framed the events through the eyes of the girls versus the adults - whose point of view we never actually hear, but who go on with life as if the murdering of teenage girls is a sad but fairly normal part of living.

I remember one of the girls saying that after Lark's death, she kept waiting for important adults to get together and form a committee to figure out why this sort of thing keeps happening to girls, and what they will do to stop it. And you know, that committee doesn't form, it never does, and why not? Meanwhile, the girls see right through the victim blaming that arises, as it inevitably really does - and that is something I really appreciated, though it was never fully played out. They bring up the fallacy of saying Lark was dressed inappropriately and thus attracted her murderer, that she did something wrong that resulted in her death, and they question the idea that the onus is on teen girls to protect themselves when the onus should be firmly and entirely placed on the evil people who would commit these crimes. Other issues related to rape culture are briefly raised or touched upon, as well.

While adults fail to ask the right questions, fail to care in the right way, the girls find a way to access their horror and move through it to something resembling peace. Part of this process, for them, involves metaphorically looking the evil in the eye, in a way that the rest of the world doesn't want to do. None of this feels good to read about or think about, but it was sometimes beautifully written and packed a very big punch. I read it in less than two hours.
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