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Girl Talk Paperback – January 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743400836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743400831
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,510,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Poet and short story writer Baggott's debut novel is a touching coming-of-age story that delivers more depth than its title might imply. A baby boomer doctor's wife in New Hampshire takes her 15-year-old daughter on a voyage of discovery, then later denies the secrets revealed by calling it "the summer that never happened." Although accustomed to being roused from sleep for her mother's late night "girl talks," Lissy Jablonski is unprepared for what her mother, Dotty, has in mind one summer night in 1985. Lissy's gynecologist father has run off with a young bank teller. When it becomes evident that her husband is not going to return, Dotty counsels Lissy, "Don't cry... he's not your real father," and Lissy begins to discover her mother's tangled past. The two embark on a road trip to Dotty's hometown of Bayonne, N.J., where Lissy learns about her one-eyed, mythically endowed biological father, Anthony Pantuliano; the grandmother she thought was dead; and the choices her mother made that shaped both their lives. On the way to Bayonne, Lissy loses her virginity to Church Fiske, the son of her mother's best friend, wealthy ex-debutante Juniper Fiske. Looking back in 1999 as a 30-year-old, newly pregnant but unmarried advertising exec, Lissy realizes that she is repeating the patterns of her mother's life, as Church asks the same question of Lissy that Anthony asked of Dotty. Baggott's multilayered, psychological tale is told with a deceptively light tone, in scenes shifting from past to present. (Feb. 13) Forecast: Gen-X women and their mothers should find this novel absorbing, despite the occasionally awkwardness of the dual narrative. Appealingly quirky characters will charm readers who remember the '80s and could spark interest for informal book clubs. A 10-city nationwide author tour will help sales; foreign rights have been sold in six countries.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Baggott does well in setting the tone and atmosphere of coming-of-age in 1980s American society. Divorce, Pac-man, neon colors, and teased hair reign. Fifteen-year-old Lissy Jablonski spends the summer listening to her mother's stories of childhood and life before marriage as they both wait for Lissy's father to return home from his affair with a younger woman. As the 30-year-old Lissy looks back on that summer, she begins to piece together the power of mother-daughter relationships and discovers what she can offer her unborn child. Lissy finds herself making the same mistakes as her mother and knows that her daughter may follow in her footsteps. As much as this story is touching, Baggott's supporting characters succeed in making it funny and entertaining, as well. Michelle Kaske
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Critically acclaimed, bestselling author, Julianna Baggott -- who also writes under the pen names Bridget Asher (The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted) and N.E. Bode (The Anybodies) -- has published 17 books, including novels for adults, younger readers, and collections of poetry. Her latest novel, PURE, is the first of a trilogy; film rights have sold to Fox2000 -- www.pure-book.com. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Best American Poetry, Best Creative Nonfiction, Real Simple, on NPR.org, as well as read on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" and "Here and Now." Her novels have been book-pick selections by People Magazine's summer reading, Washington Post book-of-the-week, a Booksense selection, a Boston Herald Book Club selection, and a Kirkus Best Books of the Year list. Her novels have been published in over 50 overseas editions. She's a professor in the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University and the founder of the nonprofit Kids in Need - Books in Deed. For more, visit www.juliannabaggott.com.

Customer Reviews

The book just didn't hold my attention.
debra lender
There are so many beautiful scenes in this book, and so many heart-wrenching moments it was hard for me to believe this is Ms. Baggott's first novel.
Michelle Topham
The characters were shallow and two dimensional, and the plot was hackneyed and quite frankly, boring.
debralender

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen Laskas on February 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
GIRL TALK is one of those novel that starts out being about one woman -- one woman with a BIG problem that is only going to get bigger -- and ends up being about all women. About the world in which women live, the secrets they keep, the fights they choose and the ones they pass. Their mothers, their friends, their lovers and their ghosts. The ending will remind you that Baggott is a poet, as well as fiction writer. You will not be disappointed.
A wonderful addition to writers who came of age after the Vietnam War!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Carey on March 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Although I didn't know what to expect from Girl Talk, it was not such a touching, honest portrayal of a relationship between a mother and daughter. Our heroine, now a single advertising executive living in Manhattan, looks back on a rather bizarre summer she spent with her mother, tracing events that took place then and thinking about the effects they have had on her present life. A complicated, somewhat strange woman, Lissy's mother used this summer to tell Lissy 'the truth' about herself and her life - and it these stories that form the basis of the novel, introducing characters, revealing their experiences, and so on. The result is a complicated, touching, honest, delightful depiction of life, love, happiness, relationships, deception and so on. It's a novel that's definitely about people rather than events, and Julianna Baggott is definitely an author to watch. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book, and enjoyed it so much that I hope others will check it out as well.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Richard Aljian on February 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
After my wife devoured the book, I picked it up and was instantly hooked! Baggott perfectly captures and describes an era of time that I instantly identified. The humor, which at times is both subtle and obvious, coupled with a diverse cast of characters, makes the reading of Girl Talk an excellent choice for all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By debralender on August 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book b/c I thought it would be the perfect summer read and I was going to be traveling alot. Something to read on a long flight, perhaps. This book really did disappoint me. The characters were shallow and two dimensional, and the plot was hackneyed and quite frankly, boring. In fact, I almost gave up half way through. The most annoying thing about this book is that it was trying so hard to be "fun" and "deep" at the same time. Frankly, it doesn't succeed too well at either. A pretty pink cover and a gimmicky title do not a good book make. Baggott seems to know how to market herself, but that's about all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Baggot's book begins with the adult narrator realizing she has relived the life of her mother, and the book proceeds to show us just why. Time and memory have a lovely slippery effect here, Lissy's 15th summer becomes her mother's 16th, which becomes her own present. What sets this book apart, though, is the wit and uniqueness of Baggott's voice and characters; she places us firmly in a world where life itself is absurd--not to mention the cast of characters that come with it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"Girl Talk" is a hilarious and tender novel, the kind of book you buy for your mother, your sister, your best friend!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By debra lender on August 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I wanted to like this book very much since I had heard such positive things about it. I bought this book to read on a long plane ride, since it's been touted as the perfect summer read.
The book just didn't hold my attention. I found the characters to be mildly annoying and the plot predictable and cheesy. It reads as though she wrote it in a very short period of time and was trying to be "fun" and "deep" at the same time. Unfortunately it fails at both.
I don't really like to write bad reviews, but it does annoy me when something has so much hype attached to it and the product turns out to be disappointing.
If you insist on buying it, at least buy it used.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reading Somewhere on February 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. The author has such compassion and affection for these oddball characters you can't help but love them (although I do wish Anthony Pantuliano had been slightly less troll-like. I mean, a big penis can only compensate for so much...) The voice is strong and seamless, the writing is poetic, and the plot flows. What more could you ask for in a book?
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