Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo Review & Giveaway

From Amazon - In one of the poorest parts of rural New Hampshire, teenage girls have been disappearing, snatched from back country roads, never to be seen alive again.  For seventeen-year-old Marjorie Richards, the fear raised by these abductions is the backdrop to what she lives with her own home, every day.  Marjorie has been raised by parents so intentionally isolated from normal society that they have developed their own dialect, a kind of mountain hybrid of English that displays both their ignorance of and disdain for the wider world.  Marjorie is tormented by her classmates, who call her "The Talk-funny girl," but as the nearby factory town sinks deeper into economic ruin and as her parents fall more completely under the influence of a sadistic cult leader, her options for escape dwindle.  But then, thanks to a loving aunt, Marjorie is hired by a man, himself a victim of abuse, who is building what he calls "a cathedral," right in the center of town. 

Wow.  The Talk-Funny Girl is next to impossible to put down once you open to the first page.  Marjorie Richards doesn't realize she's different until the authorities make her attend school when she is nine.  The other kids call her the Talk-Funny Girl because her dialect is one that her own family created.  She hales from the wilderness in New Hampshire, and she lives in a ramshackle shack with her parents.

They are dirt poor and neither of her parents work.  They belong to a church that believes in dire punishment, so Marjorie grows up abused.  When she turns seventeen, they need Marjorie to find work to help them supplement their disability income.

She does, with a man that is  also a victim of abuse.  His name is Arturo Sands and he's building a church in the middle of town.  Marjorie's aunt, Elaine, wants nothing more than to show Marjorie that life has more to offer than a little bitty shack, abuse and a church (cult) that her parents follow that believe God demands penance.  

When girls are disappearing, a serial killer seemingly on the loose, Marjorie does the best she can.  She has to walk to school, work, then back home and by then it's pretty dark. She has to keep her wits together and realize what life has to offer her outside of the circle of where she was raised.

Marjorie's journey brought tears to my eyes.  She went through so many horrible things and yet, she saw hope and had faith.  A powerful story that will grab a hold of you and not let go, even as Marjorie matures and breaks away from that holding her back.  With memorable characters and splendid writing, creating a myriad of emotions, The Talk-Funny Girl is a must read! Young adults and adults alike won't want to miss this great piece of contemporary fiction!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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