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Shark Girls Paperback – November 20, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* As Hawaii becomes a state, sexy housewife Jaycee seethes like a caged predator. She is careless of her children, even pretty little Willa, who nearly dies after losing a leg to a shark. Willa heals physically, but she does not speak or leave her bed for 18 years. When she does emerge, “Shark Girl” is thought to be a mystic and a healer. Her older sister, called Scat, has become a “devastation photographer,” specializing in natural disasters. Scat tries to reunite with her sister, but Shark Girl is elusive. No one is whole in award-winning Colbert’s novel of terrors hidden and all too obvious. As the story reaches from Hawaii to Maine, all kinds of “shark girls” surface, including Gracie, a gentle 21-year-old with a cruelly scarred face, who picks up Willa’s trail. Colbert has created an edgy and lush gothic tale laced with outlaw eroticism and barbed absurdities, and propelled by a powerful undertow racing beneath every alarming scene, bitterly funny moment, and strange twist of fate. From women battered and haunted to “throwaway kids,” rock-and-roll burnouts, and quixotic quests, Colbert summons a world as volatile as Hawaii itself, with its cycles of volcanic destruction and slow repair. --Donna Seaman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Colbert has created an edgy and lush gothic tale laced with outlaw eroticism and barbed absurdities, and propelled by a powerful undertow racing beneath every alarming scene, bitterly funny moment, and strange twist of fate. --Donna Seaman --Booklist, 11/1/09, starred review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Livingston Press (November 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604890444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604890440
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Lynn Petrillo on January 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
Shark Girls is the best novel of 2009, and my favorite Jaimee Wriston Colbert book (I've read them all, appreciatively)! The author creates, and her characters offer, a world ferociously fascinating, compelling, haunting, and alive with revelation... Though I've completed their stories, I can still hear Gracie and Susan Catherine sing their beautifully lit songs...and I'll continue to listen--and return to their myths and minds, their efforts and energies, their cries and connections--for a long while to come... Through her fiction, Jaimee Wriston Colbert illuminates life.
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Format: Paperback
Jaimee Wriston Colbert's "Shark Girls" spans the US as we follow the characters searching for purpose to their lives and meaning behind their trials. From Hawaii to the coast of Maine, she playfully blurs the lines between mythology, history, and story. Brutal and compelling, one gets so involved with the characters there's a sense of intimacy like reading someone's diary. A completely original masterpiece.
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Format: Paperback
For me, Shark Girls is the best so far of Wriston Colbert's fiction. Boomer "girls", their mothers and daughters, aunts and nieces, will find fascinating insights in this story of woundedness and transcendance. Whether it was your family or the family down the street, you will recognize these people and their struggles to master life's trials. Read it. You will be very glad you did.
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Format: Paperback
Best book of the year by an author who should have been discovered ages ago. This novel needs a movie contract!
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Format: Paperback
Set in Hawaii and Maine, Wriston Colbert's novel is a story of accident, coincidence and fate; of the damage people do to themselves and others; of wanting to be left alone and wanting to be found. The story centers on Willa Beever, an 8-year-old girl who loses a leg in a shark attack. Willa also loses her voice -- or gives it up -- and so pieces of her story are told by her sister, Susan Catherine, or Scat, and Gracie McKneely, herself disfigured in a childhood accident, who ends up living in Willa's former room in a boardinghouse in Maine.

Wriston Colbert can be a mesmerizing writer, building waves of description and pure emotion that carry the story. At times, the syntax of sentences dissolves entirely, and the prose nearly becomes stream-of-consciousness. The novel's attention to physical beauty or its lack borders on obsession -- this character is described as plain, that one fat, another beautiful but despairing. The women suffer, barely able to cope with the world; the men are passive and distant. Yet I found nearly all of them sympathetic.

I tend to judge a book in terms of whether its voice is original and gives me a new perspective. "Shark Girls" is more memorable and compassionate and compelling than many of the critically acclaimed books I've read this year.
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