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The Girl in the Box Paperback – November 28, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

ABNA Publisher Weekly Review
In a series of deftly handled flashes ... this novel successfully juggles themes involving relationships, commitment, professional jealousy and helplessness in the face of international issues.
 
--Publishers' Weekly

One to Watch: The protagonist's dark past, not to mention the book's focus on international issues, professional jealousy and journalistic crusading, is akin to [Stieg] Larsson's Lizbet Salander. --Quill and Quire, Jan./Feb. 2011

"Complex, fascinating, subtle and intensely emotional, this is a book that...will profoundly impact its readers." (Birdseyeview.com 2011-09-13)

Dalton has a way with the written word and with telling this heart-gripping story about hope, love, and doing what's right. (jjireads.com)

Dropping you right into the heat of Guatemala, Sheila Dalton proves from the first few pages that she has an incredible eye for detail. The story moves around to a number of diverse locations, but Dalton handles them all beautifully, adding in small details which really enhance the imagery. From the sweltering heat of Guatemala, to the frozen wasteland of Northern Newfoundland, I constantly found myself being sucked into her settings. (Hookedonbooks.com 2012-03-26)

Amidst all the noise on the web, it's often hard to find the quiet treasures that lie beneath the hubbub of tweeting and tooting of marketing horns. The Girl in the Box is the best literary discovery I've stumbled upon in a long time. (Sleepingwithpattyhearst.com 2012-04-20)

"The Girl in the Box is an intelligent read…Sheila Dalton’s characters are fascinatingly complex and interact so naturally that you forget you are reading a book at all. The narrative is beautiful, her descriptions delicately evocative yet she never shies away from the truth of any situation." (Judith Arnopp-Medievalscribe.com)

From the Inside Flap

A mute Mayan girl held captive in a crate in the Guatemalan jungle, a big-city psychoanalyst with a rescue complex, and a journalist with a broken heart are the characters in Sheila Dalton's second literary novel. Inez, a traumatized young Mayan woman originally from Guatemala, has killed Caitlin's partner, leaving Caitlin to figure out why.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn Press (November 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1926607260
  • ISBN-13: 978-1926607269
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,956,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A number of months ago, I came across the unfamiliar term "literary fiction". What is Literary Fiction? There are various definitions and opinions, but the one that stood out for me is that with Literary Fiction "what is really important are the thoughts, desires, and motivations of the characters as well as the underlying social and cultural threads that act upon them". (Nathan Bransford) ("What Makes Literary Fiction Literary")

For me, "The Girl in the Box" is Literary Fiction. In the character of Caitlin Shaughnessy, as much as we think we know her thoughts, desires, and motivations, as the novel evolves so do these aspects of Caitlin's personality. And in some ways, without even knowing it, the reader seeks that evolution, and the author delivers.

The human conditions existing in Guatemala are among the subjects tackled by Sheila Dalton. This book speaks to human relationships of love, friendship, trust, jealousy, pain, suffering, and enlightenment. The characters are complex and the plot line is intricate and deftly woven by the author.

The storyline is not linear, but rather, it is told from various characters' perspective, back and forth over a time span of approximately six months. This means the reader must stay focused on who is speaking and telling the tale. I truly enjoy novels written in this style - it keeps me interested in `who will speak next'! If the reader is one who enjoys fiction with a chronological plot line, this book may be a challenge.

While not technically highlighted as a mystery novel, there were many elements of mystery throughout this novel. I found the most intriguing mysteries were between the characters, how relationships developed, changed, grew, and in some cases, deteriorated.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The problem with reading a lot is that you get spoiled, very spoiled. To find The Girl in the box was like finding best quality beef steak strewn with truffle after eating junk food for half a year.

Dalton is not afraid to dive in to unpleasant subjects, she done her research.
She also draw attention to the horrid situation in Guatemala and the situations of the mayas and the toll of a 36-year civil war. Amnesty international estimate that 200 000 was killed or vanished (and lets face it, that usually means undiscovered mass graves) During the 1981 and 1982 genocide, 70 and 90 percent of the communities were wiped out in the Ixil, Zacualpa, northern Huehuetenango and Rabinal areas of Guatemala. This is the world of the girl in the box; Inez before psychoanalyst Dr. Jerry Simpson brings her to Canada.

The characters are fully rounded, interesting and complex personalities. I ended up liking a person in one page, dislike them on the next and back to liking them again. They are faulty like real humans are, they do mistakes. Sheila Dalton gives you no 15 minutes Dr. Phil style fix like so many lesser authors would nor does she resort to two boxes of Kleenex sentimentality.

I highly recommend this book, it’s not an easy book for a read the beach. But it’s worth your time. But if you prefer books with: It was Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick solutions, you should most likely shy away from it.
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Format: Paperback
Sheila Dalton is a master of words; this book delivered passages that pulled my mind completely into the story. Her writing captures the fundamental reason that I read: to be transported to another place and time-totally removing myself from the day-to-day realities of my own life.

The combination of her prose with a story of a psycho-analyst who rescues a girl from the Guatemalan jungle is a win-win. As the story unfolds, the doctor is found dead at the hands of the girl. This leaves the doctor's girlfriend, Caitlin, to find out what really happened, as she struggles to understand her own feelings and relationships with both the doctor and the girl.

Caitlin's journey follows a path of both introspection and close examination of the behavior of others. I highly recommend that you take the journey with her.
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Shelia Dalton's The Girl in the Box is a wonderfully constructed and intricately woven tale of a mute, seemingly autistic, teenage girl who is rescued from a deplorable existence in the Guatemalan jungle. Chained and made to live in a windowless shed by her parents, Jerry, a Canadian psychoanalyst on vacation, rescues the girl by bringing her back home with him to Canada.

The novel begins with Jerry's murder at the hands of the girl, Inez. This story is not a who dunnit, but instead delves into the why of it. After Jerry's murder, his life partner, Caitlin is compelled to explore the workings of the damaged girl's mind in an attempt to put the pieces together. Did the beautiful teenager kill Jerry because of something he did? This question haunts Caitlin and drives her to find answers.

Dalton takes us from Guatamala to Toronto to Labrador and we go willingly, unable to put the book down until we discover, along with Caitlin, the truth behind the murder.

The Girl in the Box is a wonderful read. Dalton possesses genuine literary talent and I was greatly impressed. A five star read that I can't recommend highly enough.
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