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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Girl in Pieces: A Novel

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow fell in to my lap at Book Expo this year. It looked like it could be an interesting read, so I picked it up without much thought and added it to the queue.

Fresh off the street, Charlie is currently in rehab for self harm. What she went through to get there was too harrowing to speak of. With virtually no parents to speak of, she depended on the protection of her friends on the street. Now that she is being released from rehab through no fault of her own, she must learn to make a life on the outside that resembles something productive, and safe, even if it's not happy. She gets on the bus to Tucson where an old friend lives, and she sets up life as a dishwasher in a local coffee shop, meeting new characters, fighting off old demons, and learning how to fend for herself in this scary world.

I was pleasantly surprised at how interested I was in this book from the beginning. Glasgow does a really marvelous job of describing rehab in an empathetic and human light, one that really helps us buy in to Charlie's story early on. Granted, we are in Charlie's head, so that helps, but she teases us with enough information to get us coming back. Her fellow patients called her Silent Sue, and the name is very befitting. I was incredibly intrigued by the character and what she had gone through to get where it is that the book started. I was not expecting her to be released from rehab so suddenly and unexpectedly; it was an abrupt change in the story that, looking back, I realize is very realistic and it was an excellent story choice.

There were times toward the middle of the book where I felt pieces of the story were not entirely necessary, but overall the book read quickly and I was sold on the character and the story choices. I was particularly taken by the character of Linus. I don't want to say much about her, because you should read this book for yourself in order to thoroughly enjoy it. She was a minor character for sure, but one I related to probably on an adult to adult basis. She was an excellent torch bearer and rock for the story, which would often go in and out of emotions including hopeful and despair. When, for example, an old friend from rehab comes to visit, Charlie's life is turned on its head, and I found myself really angry at the entire situation. That for me is the sign of a good story, to have such intense emotions about it. Getting angry at a story is usually a sign that I care, which means that ultimately I felt this was a good book.

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