The Burning Girl

The Burning Girl

A Novel

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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Julia and Cassie have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge and Cassie sets out on a journey that will put her life in danger and shatter her oldest friendship. The Burning Girl is a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about youth and friendship, and straddles, expertly, childhood's imaginary worlds and painful adult reality--crafting a true, immediate portrait of female adolescence.Claire Messud, one of our finest novelists, is as accomplished at weaving a compelling fictional world as she is at asking the big questions: To what extent can we know ourselves and others? What are the stories we create to comprehend our lives and relationships? Brilliantly mixing fable and coming-of-age tale, The Burning Girl gets to the heart of these matters in an absolutely irresistible way.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780393635027
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 247 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

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Nov 08, 2017

Most girls will relate to the underlying story - how friendships (even those forged in the fires of earliest childhood memory) can grow apart, and how painful that can be. Give a listen to Chance the Rapper's song 'Same Drugs', which deals with a similar theme.

Oct 19, 2017

We get a peek into the ups and downs of an intense adolescent friendship. Messud is a talented writer. Skillful with dialogue and description. The writing compelled me to read on. I became invested in knowing the outcome.

What I enjoyed about this story is also what bothered me -- I don't know what happened to Cassie. This mirrors life. When we can't know the truth, we fill in the blanks but always with our spin on perception. The young women grow apart; one friend doesn't get it. Sometimes, Cassie seeks out Julia but mostly she ignores her and they lead parallel lives where they were once inseparable.

I looked for clues from the author but I wasn't able to discern all the truth about what was happening at Cassie's house. And, when the climax occurs, we are on the front lines with Julia. In its aftermath though, Julia and the readers are kept away from the whole truth. I have been wondering since I finished the book. (Maybe I need to write the follow-up.)

Sep 18, 2017

While the vehicle driving this novel is adolescent friendship -
Its truth lies in Messud's deep understanding of human nature
and multiple insights..One:."sometimes I felt that growing up and being a girl was about learning to be afraid."
Messed writes with a smooth eloquence that makes this psychological tale an effortless read.

multcolib_karene Sep 10, 2017

A bittersweet coming-of-age story about the friendship of two girls as they grow up and grow apart.

Sep 04, 2017

Found this trite, predictable, characters not all that interesting: point: angst, loss, abandonment: teenage relationship-

JCLGreggW Jun 07, 2017

Massud elegantly maps the geography of a teen girl's connection with her best friend in small town Massachusetts and brings to vibrant life the power of friendship that can only exist at that fundamental age. This slim, literary novel is magic at all levels and is an absolute feast for book clubs.


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Sep 22, 2017

Tjad2L thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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