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PERFECTLY SECRET by Susan Musgrave


The Hidden Lives of Seven Teen Girls

edited by Susan Musgrave

Age Range: 13 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-55037-865-1
Publisher: Annick Press

Seven short memoirs reveal the inner lives of young women and the secrets they hold. “Meet Cathy, my public personality.” So begins the first piece by Cathy Stonehouse, in which the speaker introduces readers to the split personality she’s created to survive her abusive home life. Other voices chime in: one describes the slow rotting of her parent’s marriage that she can see more clearly than they; another remembers the one time her father came through for her—the time that it mattered, when he could have revealed their secret to her entire school. The clarity of voice and benefit of hindsight give these pieces of creative nonfiction an edge over traditional fictional narratives. Short, shocking and far too familiar, they give voice to the sadly common tragedies of teen’s lives, while promising a future in which the speakers become strong women and gifted writers. The authors in this Canadian import will be new to US audiences who will hope to see more of them. (Nonfiction. 13+)