Sunday, May 20, 2007


I really should have known. The Girls came recommended by Patricia Storms, Richard and Judy, and everybody else in the whole wide world. If, like me, however, you were put off by all the hype, and by the prospect of a story about craniopagus twins, you really have been cheating yourself. Lori Lansens' The Girls casts a perfect spell, expresses every lovely notion I've ever had about the world, and says so much about perspective, writing, and love. (Those of us who love Kate Atkinson will definitely find something to love here.)

I was under that perfect spell from the very start, probably due to Lansens' dramatic beginning. A lot gets said about great opening lines, but what about great opening scenes? It's actually the second chapter of The Girls: "A tornado touched down in Baldoon County on the day Ruby and I were born". And Lansens' describes the tornado with such energy, intricacy, and action, I could almost feel the wind. I was hooked from then on. It was the best story opening I've read since Arthur Seaton fell down a flight of stairs in the pub and puked all over a woman in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Since the moment of Ruby Lennox's conception in Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Sometimes it pays to start with a bang.

Bookwise, what's ahead? Cease to Blush and then The Children of Men (upon the recommendation of my husband!).