Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE WILD GIRLS by Pat Murphy


by Pat Murphy

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-670-06226-3
Publisher: Viking

Large, generous and creative characters populate this deeply satisfying novel that tells the story of “Newt” and “Fox” and how they learn to take on the challenges of their lives. In 1972, Joan’s (Newt) father gets a new job in San Francisco and relocates his family from Connecticut to the suburban California town of Danville. Joan sets about exploring and meets Sarah (Fox). The two immediately form a friendship and bond as they share their inner conflicts: Joan’s parents argue constantly (readers might grow to really dislike the father and will be surprised at the compassionate treatment he gets), and Sarah’s mother, who had abandoned the family years before, returns to ask her husband, Gus, for a divorce. In the meantime, the girls have written a short story together for a class project, which Joan submits to a contest without the knowledge of her teacher. They win and earn themselves spots in a unique writing workshop run by free spirit Verla Volante. There, Verla’s assignments and writing advice (which really is life advice) assist the girls in their self-exploration and help them achieve the insight and personal strength they need to triumph. A terrific mix of imagination, insight, character inventiveness and kindness create the kind of read that nourishes young minds and hearts. (Fiction. 10-14)