Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Talk-Funny Girl

There are some books that you practically have to force yourself to pick up and keep reading, and other books that once you start, you don't want to put down. The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo is one of the latter. It has a very compelling narrative voice and I quickly found myself emotionally invested in the main character and in her life and destiny.

The odds are stacked against 17-year-old Marjorie Richards. She lives in the back woods of New Hampshire in isolated poverty. Her parents are not only unstable, but emotionally and physically abusive, forcing "penances" on her like "boying, hungering, facing, and dousing" as dictated by the cult-like church they attend.
"My parents were like gasoline spread around a room--there was the sharp smell of danger, the threat that something might erupt, but it could just as easily evaporate as explode."
Marjorie further isolates herself from others with the way she talks, using an ungrammatical dialect that only she and her parents speak. The only sources of kindness and hope in her life are her Aunt Elaine, and the young stonemason who hires her to help him build a stone "cathedral" in town.

Marjorie's journey out of a life of abuse and neglect is a painful one, but it is also a remarkable journey of courage and hope and love. She endures so much, and yet she never gives up.
"I had my protective shell of funny talk and shyness, but underneath that lived a wilder me, a girl who would take punishment, and take it, and take it, but who would never let go of herself all the way, never completely surrender."
I was blown away by this story. Despite its dark subject matter, it's not a sad or depressing book. It's just really, really good. And once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down.

Happy Reading!

Similar reads:
     Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
     Words by Ginny L. Yttrup

No comments:

Post a Comment