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Stop That Girl: Fiction Paperback – April 11, 2006
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While each story is unique in its own right, McKenzie's lyrical style makes it easy to string each episode together to form the consistent thread of Ann's life. In one of the early stories, ten-year-old Ann attends a neighborhood party on her own, apologizing to the host for her parents's absence while attempting to fulfill the family's social obligations with the grace of someone well beyond her years. ("I make it my business to look as enterprising ad possible, a team player, someone you can count on, someone who never lets you down...") As she gets older, Ann continues to play the role of "normal one" in a family of eccentric personalities, while simultaneously attempting to forge her own identity as a young woman. In one climatic story, Ann's grandmother pays her a visit at UC Santa Cruz on the same day as a monumental appearance by Allen Ginsberg. What follows is a car chase that culminates in a showdown between Ann, her boyfriend, and her grandmother that perfectly illustrates the push-pull dynamic which seems to define Ann's life.
For Ann, each step forward brings with it a reminder of a past that she doesn't necessarily want to forget. It is this haunting inability to escape her past, to in fact embrace her past in order to move on, that make Ann such an endearing character and her creator such a gifted storyteller. --Gisele Toueg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book starts out with a bang, as the spunky and self-centered grade-school age Ann deals with her mother's new boyfriend, losing her only child status, her manipulative and insane Grandmother, and an annoying schoolmate/neighbor. I enjoyed seeing Ann grow, and she's no angel, just a girl trying to find her place in the world and deal with the people around her.
I'm only giving the book 4 stars because I felt it kind of wandered at the end, and I didn't feel complete when I finished the book. Author McKenzie portrays a psychotic grandmother, but the scenes with her are so brief that the reader barely gets to make up his or her mind based on evidence. I almost felt as if the author used this "novel in short stories" gimmick to get out of having to fully develop some of the characters.
Overall, this is a great book, and each chapter is a vivid portrait of the events which shaped Ann as she grew up. I highly recommend this breakout book from a new talent in fiction.
The novel goes through the life of Ann Ransom. You meet her when she is very young and only living with her mother. By the end of the book, she is living with her son. Each chapter is a different time in her life and a different story. It comes together nicely though I did feel as if some of the stories were kind of like "fillers."
Maybe the problem was that I had very high expectations for this book and it didn't live up to them.