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The Longings of Wayward Girls: A Novel Paperback – July 2, 2013
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Sadie then was a bright, imaginative, and pretty girl--the ringleader of the neighborhood children in her hometown of Wintonbury. She writes the Christmas chorale, organizes the annual Haunted Woods, and plays endless hours of Old-Fashioned House. Her best friend Betty ever at her side,
Sadie's life in suburban Connecticut in the seventies is idyllic. Except for her pill-popping, alcoholic mom and the teenage boy she seduces. And the girl, Laura Loomis, who disappears one day, never to be found. Or the neighborhood outcast who, Sadie learns, is abused by her father. How about the unfathomable torment one girl can inflict upon another?
Sadie now is a pulled-together, fashionable stay-at-home-mom who still lives in Wintonbury (albeit in a newer upscale neighborhood) and whose life continues that idyll. Except for her grief over the still born daughter she mourns. Or her ineffectual paperdoll of a husband. And the suffocating boredom she feels. Enter Ray Filley, a crush from her tween-hood, back in town after his father's death--single, handsome, infatuated with Sadie, and dangerous. It's when Sadie takes up with Ray that her then and now collide in a harrowing way. I must admit that at times I thought I'd mistakenly picked up a suspense novel and I read the end of the novel flipping pages as quickly as I could.
Karen Brown has a keen eye for the inner world of women--our boredom and frustration, the endless demands and stalled careers--and the tolls we pay to live out the life of June Cleaver. I can't think of a better book to discuss in Book Club. It would be one long night.
[Read more at thisismysymphony.blogspot.com]
By: Karen Brown
Published by: Washington Square Press
Reviewed by: Melissa
The Longings of Wayward Girls is a psychological thriller rife with complex layers that made me reflect and successfully maintained a constant level of suspense, keeping me on the edge of my seat. Brown brings many of the emotional and moral dilemmas many woman face as mothers, wives, friends and daughters to life with realism, respect and humility. She has crafted a cast of characters who, while not always likable, are consistently honest and relatable for good or bad.
Brown does an excellent job of portraying the the difficulties women often face and how we either learn to cope with dissatisfaction or risk the happiness of others for the sake of our own, all neatly packaged within a taunting mystery. The narrative seamlessly weaves between the past and present of Sadie Watkins, a girl who struggles to accept her dysfunctional relationship with her troubled mother in her youth and later battles with the repercussions of following in her mother's footsteps. The reader finds Sadie as an adult woman, married with two small children, a supportive husband and a recent miscarriage. Finding it difficult to come to terms with her loss, she finds herself on a collision course very similar to that of her ill-fated mother and it is up to her to find the strength and understanding to break the chain. Will she be able to resolve her the issues of her troubled past and begin living her life out of her mother's shadow?Read more ›
The Longings of Wayward Girls is all love, lust, loss, and memory. In the wake of the delivery of a stillborn child, Sadie Watkins is trying to hold on to herself and her identity. Her grief is enormous and colors everything she does making it difficult for her to be a mother to her living children, a partner to her husband, alive in her own life. She is a well of sorrow and into this emptiness comes Ray Filley, a childhood crush returned to town with whom Sadie begins an affair. The affair triggers Sadie's memory back to her childhood and a prank she and a friend played on another girl - that girl disappeared shortly after the denouement of the prank and this sense that she may have played a part in the girl's disappearance is yet another grief that Sadie has carried around and that has disconnected her from her life. Layer upon layer Ms. Brown reveals the affect of loss on a place and on people - everyone is effected by what happened whether they were there at the time or not because that's how tragedy works - its traces linger in the people touched by it and through them it touches everyone.
Time and narrative shift as Ms.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was such a boring book. I kept waiting for it to become suspenseful, but it just continued down a path of nothingness.Published 5 months ago by Emily
I just did not care for this book. I had zero sympathy for the main character. I mean, she was having an affair, then she drops her kids off with a friend and just leaves. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Rachi J
"The Longings of Wayward Girls" was a book I asked for (and received) for my birthday! It had great potential but was poorly executed. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Rhonda Filipan
The Longings of Wayward Girls is a deceptive novel in that it easily crosses genres and keeps you in its grips once you're two pages into it. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Holly C.