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The Shore Girl

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  176 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Winner of the 2013 Alberta Readers' Choice Award

Rebee Shore's life is fragmented. She's forever on the move, ricocheting around Alberta, guided less than capably by her dysfunctional mother Elizabeth.

"The Shore Girl" follows Rebee from her toddler to her teen years as she grapples with her mother's fears and addictions, and her own desire for a normal life. Through a serie
Paperback, 229 pages
Published September 15th 2012 by NeWest Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  176 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Oct 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“It isn’t possible to love and to part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.” ― E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

Each of us, no matter how seemingly put together, is broken. We are all parts of a whole, and we spend our entire lives looking for people who fit together with us—even momentarily—to form something that feels complete. If we're really lucky, we find
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
This was quite an amazing book. I liked both the story and the structure. The book tells the story of a young girl and her mother, as the girl travels around Alberta. The chapters are told by different people- the girl herself, who is named Rebee, her aunt, her neighbour, a random stranger.

All of the stories come together to tell the girl's story, and uncover the truth about her parentage.

The book is set in Alberta and there are lots of Albertan references. I like the style, which was poetic an
Lesley Battler
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: keeper
I think Fran Kimmel's The Shore Girl is quite a remarkable high-wire balancing act.

The writing is evocative and poignant, wistful at times, but never succumbs to sentimentality. Diction remains grounded in voice and point-of-view. No big literary epiphanies; the narrative picks up camp and moves on. I also love it that Rebee is part of a constellation of fellow-travellers. Kimmel has chosen a masterful way of showing that, far from being an isolated case study, Rebee's life is ceaselessly formed
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club-picks
I was very excited to crack this book open, not only did the premise appeal to me, but I know the author personally. That fact also made me a little nervous, as I really wanted to like this book and knew Fran wanted to hear my opinion on it!
Well, I did indeed really like this book. It did take me a little while to get into the story of Rebee, but then it really took off for me by mid point. I really liked how the book came together in the second half and the way the big revelation played out. Wh
Jean Oram
I can't wait to read this. Fran lives in my neighbourhood and I've heard great things about the book from another neighbour. PLUS she's coming to our book club!!!!! AWESOME!

Later note:

LOVED the book. The story of Rebee and her mother is told through the stories of several characters dropping hints throughout. It's one of those books where you keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I kept thinking something bad was going to happen and hints would make me more curious about what the history was
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time (since my pre-mothering days, 11 years ago) that I read a book in one day. Because of flying to a funeral without children, the time on planes paired with how captivating Shore Girl is, I read it all in a day. Devoured it. The prose is sometime stark, appropriately, visually lush, vivid; the narrative is as compelling as the writing. A desperately devastating story written with passion and skill (as opposed to saccharine sentimentality) is a rarity; Kimmel achieves it. It h ...more
Apr 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. This book is about Rebee Shore and her less than normal life. She and her mother lead a nomad's life, never staying in one place too long.We meet a few of the people who come into her life and through them we learn about Rebee- a little lost girl who has no one to rely on. We learn in a roundabout way what happened to her mother and why she is as she is. All who meet Rebee are drawn to her as the reader becomes the more we read about her. I will definitely remember Re ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. I have an amazing ability to randomly pick both complete crap or shock and awe(some). This deserves a second read and I suspect it will become a treasured favourite. I'm a book whore so that says something. ...more
Feb 09, 2013 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I would give it a 3.5. It took me a few pages to become engaged with the characters but they were authentic and well written. A great ending. Well done Fran! (PS I am very stingy with stars.)
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. The story is told in an interesting, different way (through the perspectives of different characters who drift in and out of Rebee's life) and it works very smoothly. A widely appealing book that I think that most readers will really like. ...more
Avonlea Rose
Well-written and gripping.
Jeannette Montgomery
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Brilliant use of many perspectives to story-tell. Short stories that weave together into one big tapestry of life, as seen through those who are touched by the fabric.
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really great book with a hauntingly real main character who at the same time seems larger than life... maybe because of the other characters' reactions to her... I couldn't put it down. ...more
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
A wonderful first novel. A sad, real story of hard lives. Kimmel combines tender perception with tight prose to create a diverse 'cast' of characters, each deftly drawn, and convincing. ...more
Kieran Leblanc
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great book - really enjoyed it!
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: random-canlit
The Shore Girl is a moving and beautifully written story of an Alberta family. Fran Kimmel has used a unique structure to give voice to different characters who encounter the family, and most of all to the daughter Rebee, who is unintentionally caught up in the dysfuntion of her mothers life and suffers the most collateral damage.

Rebee is a very sympathetic character-her life on the run with her mother is no fault of her own. She shows remarkable resilience and occasional hope which makes her se
Mary Anne
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I heard Kimmel interviewed on CBC & the same day I picked up this book (looking for red cars, all you see is red cars). She lives in Lacombe, Alberta: just a heartbeat away. It’s an interestingly styled book about Rebee Shore and (sometimes) her incompetent parent mum who pulls up roots every few of months. The interesting part is that it’s told in chapters by different people that Rebee interacts with from preschool to 16 years. While half of these are from Rebee, it doesn’t feel like he said-s ...more
Kate Harrison
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan Carpenter
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Rotating POV takes you through the life of Rebee Shore. Fran tugs at the heart strings as we follow Rebee and her single mother, Harmony, through numerous small towns and the people they meet. Each person that comes into contact with them tells the story of the Shore Girls until the reader is let in on the dark family secret that affected their lives. Great descriptions of characters and settings, Fran uses all five senses to build the world of her novel.
Anna Wallace
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it

It took me a bit to get into, it started off a bit more adult than I was prepared for, but I was charmed by Rebee. It seemed everyone in her world ended up charmed by her and her older than her years persona. I appreciated Kimmel's lack of sentimentality when it came to offering up her character's insecurities and bumps. There is a lot of subtlety when it comes to Kimmel's exploration of family and the repercussions of broken bonds. Renee's commitment to her mother, to endure, was honourable
Adrienne Michetti
Jul 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-just-right
It picked up near the end, as things began to get more intense. Joey was my favorite narrator.

My biggest complaint about this novel is that it doesn't really have a plot structure. While I like several other books that also don't, I feel like in this book it really is necessary because of the changing narrator. Without a story arc, there is little holding this book together. The characters aren't fully developed, due to the changing narrator, and the setting is constantly shifting, which is a c
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Good little read, I really enjoyed this book however I would have wanted the author to develop the characters and storyline a bit more. It was great to read about the characters and how they came in and out of this teenager's life, the mother's strange behavior, the grandfather's story. I felt like I was left hanging as if the author could have written a lot more but just didn't know how to end it. So its a good review because I enjoyed the story and the writing, just wanted more.. :) ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is another treasure of Canadian YA literature. The wandering and finding home is a solid narrative. Although it is a story that has been done before, this book takes a new and different stab at it, making the story feel fresh and new. It is very well done and I think will be popular with young adults.
Laura Frey (Reading in Bed)
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very strange thing happened when I finished this book - I cried. Okay that is not strange, most books make me cry - what was weird was that I didn't cry or even come close while reading, even though I should have; this is harrowing stuff. It just all built up and I didn't see it coming.

Full review to come.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
A melancholy tale told from the perspectives of different people who come in and out of the life of a young Albertan girl. Interesting to read a novel based in the province where I currently live. Highly recommended!
Feb 22, 2015 added it
A really good read. The story of a girl bouncing around Alberta with her mom and finally finding a home. Canadian author.
Rebecca Kenny
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, I couldn't put it down. If this was the first book from this author I can't wait to read what she writes next! ...more
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Well written, an easy read,this book grabs you and doesn't let go till you are done.. ...more
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