Friday, November 7, 2014

Staff Pick – The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe

The Girls from Corona del Mar is a lyrically written and haunting novel about two girls as they grow into women and move into their adult lives. This is a story about a friendship that shifts and bends over time and changing circumstances.

As a girl, Mia looked up to seemingly perfect Lorrie Ann. Mia admired her effortless goodness and envied her happy, loving family. However, as the girls grow older their lives change in very different ways. Mia finds happiness first in her studies at Yale and then in a successful scholarly career and a relationship with a man who loves her and is good to her. Lorrie Ann experiences tragedy after tragedy. Mia watches helplessly as her friend’s golden life falls apart and grapples with how to help Lorrie Ann and how to preserve the closeness they had as girls as their lives grow farther and farther apart.

The Girls from Corona del Mar is a sad and somewhat unsettling story of a friendship that questions how well we know the people we most love. However, Mia’s voice is spirited and engaging and provides a nice balance to the darker aspects of the novel. Beautifully written with intriguing characters who reveal themselves slowly over the course of the story, The Girls from Corona del Mar is a thought-provoking, if not always easy, read.

Readers who enjoy The Girls from Corona del Mar might like Meg Wolitzer’s

The Interestings, which is also a character-driven story that looks at the challenges that face childhood friendships as people get older and lives grow apart.

Also worth considering are Margaret Atwood’s dark, intelligent novels about women struggling with life and relationships, such as The Edible Woman and Cat’s Eye.

by Jeanna

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