Girlchild Pdf Summary
Rory Hendrix is the least likely of Girl Scouts. She hasn’t got a troop or even a badge to call her own. But she’s checked the Handbook out from the elementary school library so many times that her name fills all the lines on the card, and she pores over its surreal advice (Disposal of Outgrown Uniforms; The Right Use of Your Body; Finding Your Way When Lost) for tips to get off the Calle: that is, Calle de los Flores, the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother, Jo, the sweet-faced, hard-luck bartender at the Truck Stop.
Rory’s been told she is “third generation in a line of apparent imbeciles, feeble-minded bastards surely on the road to whoredom.” But she’s determined to prove the County and her own family wrong. Brash, sassy, vulnerable, wise, and terrified, she struggles with her mother’s habit of trusting the wrong men, and the mixed blessing of being too smart for her own good. From diary entries, social worker’s reports, half-recalled memories, story problems, arrest records, family lore, Supreme Court opinions, and her grandmother’s letters, Rory crafts a devastating collage that shows us her world while she searches for the way out of it. Girlchild is a heart-stopping and original debut.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BOOK REVIEW: Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 4, 2012
This is one of those books I bought only because my neighborhood book club voted to discuss it. Boy, am I glad I did. It turned out to be so different from most books I’ve read, and so interesting I couldn’t put it down. One way it is different is that it is told in short episodes rather than scenes and chapters. There are enough descriptions for the reader to visualize the people and the places, but that’s not the important part. As a father, my concern was for Rory Dawn Hendrix, the little child called girlchild by her mother when she tucked her in at night. I wanted to know if Rory would survive the life dealt her. Would she live, and would she grow up unharmed emotionally?
In addition to Rory, the main characters are Rory’s mother, Johanna Ruth Hendrix, and her grandmother, Shirley Rose. “Mothering is not this family’s strong suit,” Rory observes. Still, Rory’s mother tries hard to protect her daughter. She knows the evils young girls face growing up in a trailer park with few friends and family, while being left alone. Rory is smart, smart enough to lose the spelling bee on purpose to make life easier for herself and her mother.
Another way the book is different is the way a real person is inserted into the story. A playmate of Rory’s, Vivian Buck, was the daughter of Carrie Buck who was sterilized for being feebleminded in the 1920’s. We don’t know if this playmate was a ghost or what, but, in real life, Vivian died before the time of Rory’s story. I didn’t find this confusing, though. It made the book more interesting to me.
This book will make you think and feel, and after you’ve read it, you’ll feel satisfied while wanting to know more.
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, impressive writing, especially for a first novel.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 31, 2012
Tupelo Hassman has a winner here…..not easy to write with humor about tragic events, and she does this well. Also difficult to capture the voice and nuances of a little kid’s speech and thought patterns, and she’s nailed that too. We end up liking and caring about Rory Dawn, and want to hear more from her and about her. True, this is not the saga of three generations and it only details a chunk of her life, but it is well-crafted and absorbing. Other reviewers seem divided on whether the quirky writing style adds to the story; I think it does. it’s wonderfully clever, and as this is the story of a very clever girl who’s good with words, it fits perfectly. Oh, and the Girl Scout handbook thing is not really the central part of the story that the description would have you believe, it’s just a connecting thread that runs through. If there were one thing I’d have changed, it would be adding a bit more in the story of Rory interacting with her peers. She went to school every day, surely there must have been something more to tell about her relationships with her schoolmates. In 10 years of story, we get a brief vignette of one friend who’s gone before long, one kiss with a neighborhood boy, and a pair of snotty girls who won’t interact with Rory.
There’s plenty of room for a sequel here. Rory the teenager is just as interesting and appealing as Rory the child.
3.0 out of 5 stars Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 4, 2013
I will admit that this was a very difficult book to wade through; Rory Hendrix’s life in a Reno trailer park with a mother who tries to do her best is disturbing. As we see this awful history through Rory’s eyes, through letters from her grandmother, files from the county social worker, her mother’s arrest records, and memories and lies she learns as she grows up; there definitely will be many troubles and hurt for Rory because we find out early on that comes from a family with a very bad history. This is a story about what it is like to live a dead-end life as trailer park trash; to be smart and live with alcoholics, gamblers, and bad decision makers. Rory is strong and determined like her mother and grandmother; will she break the cycle of abuse, and poverty and make it in a world that seems destined to go nowhere?
About Tupelo Hassman Author Of Girlchild pdf Book
Tupelo Hassman’s first novel, girlchild pdf book, was published in 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, Paper Street Press, The Portland Review Literary Journal, Tantalum, We Still Like, ZYZZYVA, and by 100WordStory.org, FiveChapters.com, and Invisible City Audio Tours. More is forthcoming from The Arroyo Review Literary Journal, Harper’s Bazaar, and This Land. Tupelo collected footage of girlchild’s book tour for a short documentary, Hardbound: A Novel’s Life on the Road, and the jury is still out on whether or not this was a terrible idea.
Girlchild pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition (February 14, 2012)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0374162573
- ISBN-13 : 978-0374162573
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.81 x 1.01 x 8.41 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,799,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1,332 in Humorous American Literature
- #15,427 in Coming of Age Fiction (Books)
- #17,360 in Humorous Fiction
- Customer Reviews: 3.9 out of 5 stars 193 ratings
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