Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy


My friend, Tina, from books are my thing, made me check this book out last week from our local library. She said, "Even though the cover is very unattractive, the story is great," and it was!! Funny thing...at one point, during my reading, I made a mental note that the dialogue was a not that good..then, when I got to the end, I had a huge "aha" moment, which I will not share because I don't want to be a spoiler!!

The story centers around Joan, who has just moved to a suburb of San Fransisco from Connecticut, with her family. Joan is sent out to "explore the neighborhood" one day while her mom is unpacking stuff and she meets a neighbor girl unlike any other. Her new friend goes by the name of Fox and appears to live in the forest area between Joan's house and the rest of the world. Fox (aka Sarah) lives with her wise single father, Gus, who is a writer (and a tattooed motorcycle rider.) Joan's father, on the other hand, is bitter and angry and takes it out on his family with sarcastic comments. Neither family situation is perfect, however, for Fox misses the mother who left her when she was seven.

Luckily, Fox and Joan end up in the same class and, toward the end of the year, enter a story-writing contest together, with one story they have created about "wild girls". The girls' story wins and they are invited to become part of a special writer's workshop taught by a unique teacher, Verla Volante, at Berkeley. This opens up a whole new world for Sarah and Joan as they trek each week into the wild city and meet a bunch of "loose nuts" that help them understand their own unique qualities. This book is a wonderful romp with a great cast of characters, and lots of story-telling tips along the way!!
Pat Murphy's website
Tina's review
Sarah Laurence's review
love the cover art on her copy-why did they change it????

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