Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe… A Review

Friendships between girls can be intense. And in the case of Mia and Lorrie Ann, there is no question that this is true. The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe, tells the story of Mia and Lor, as they grow from young girls to women, and the journey is filled with sun tans and lemon juice, giggling, and trips to the mall. But it's also filled with heartbreak and conflict, growing pains and despair.

Mia and Lorrie Ann live in the California town of Corona del Mar. They are lifelong friends, who are total opposites. Mia is the “bad girl”, living in a dysfunction family with a Mother that drinks heavily, and two brothers who she practically raises. She is “heartless” and yet honest. Lorrie Ann is beautiful and kind, almost angelic in her goodness, with a close knit family that seems plucked out of a fairytale to all who observe them. But when tragedy strikes Lorrie Ann her life seems to tumble out of control, with one thing leading to another, Mia trying all along to make it all better for Lor, until finally Mia questions whether she really ever knew the real Lorrie Ann, and was she all that Mia made her out to be.

What did I think? The writing is so compelling. Once I started reading the first pages, I could not put it down. The story is told in Mia’s voice, and it is so real. The intense feelings best friends have for one another, the loyalty, the disappointments, the small betrayals, and the unfaltering support after all is said and done, all translate on the pages beautifully. The story is filled with a whirlwind of emotions and thought provoking situations that make this an amazing feat of writing, and would make a wonderful book to discuss. I kept trying to imagine what I would do, what I could do in the situations the girls had to deal with. I felt such anguish at times because the story unknowingly wraps itself around you and makes you part of it.

Favorite Character? Mia was my favorite character, right from the start. And it seems to me, without letting out any spoilers here, that Mia was the better of the friends, almost always putting Lorrie Ann first in their lives, whereas Lorrie Ann lived off the kindness of others and Mia’s fierce loyalty. (When you read this book, and you should, let's talk about that aspect of friendships- the give and take, is it always equal?)

Love, loyalty, motherhood, is the right choice the same for everyone? Do we ignore the faults of our loved ones out of loyalty or because we want the world to be perfect outside of ourselves? Loss, tragedy, fear, how can we be true to ourselves when we  don’t agree with the decisions of the ones we love? And how do we reconcile that within ourselves? The Girls from Corona del Mar is beautiful, intense, and paints a portrait of two young girls learning to become the women they were meant to be, and be the friends they thought they should be.

Mark Your Calendars! The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe will be coming to a bookstore July 8th, 2014. Published by Knopf and Random House, I want to thank them for the opportunity to read the eGalley before publication!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You make it sound really engrossing. Makes me want to read it and comment on your questions. Sounds good!

thecuecard said...

Oh thanks for the title; I hadnt heard of it yet. But I'll keep an eye out for it in July. Why is it in Corona del Mar? hmm

thecuecard said...

Oh thanks for the title; I hadnt heard of it yet. But I'll keep an eye out for it in July. Why is it in Corona del Mar? hmm

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Anonymous! It is a really engrossing read, not a happy one, but boy did it have me hooked.

Hi Cue Card! I'm not sure why it's in Corona del Mar. In the story the town actually changes too, from a small town feel to something much bigger and wilder, almost like what happens to the girls in their own lives.

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