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#106 ~ The Torn Skirt

The Torn Skirt by Rebecca Godfrey

This novel tells the story of a lost teenager named Sara Shaw whose mother chose to stay in a commune, leaving her hippy father to raise her.  Sara isn’t sure where she fits in – at home or at school.  She spent her afternoons with the burnout boys until they do something horrible to a classmate that she cannot forgive or stop thinking about.  She doesn’t understand her father any more than he understands her.  After finding her in a compromising position in the garden, he chooses to leave her at home to live by herself while he goes off to live out his crazy hippy dream.  Alone, Sara skips school and that is when she first sees Justine, the girl with the torn skirt who seems to have it all together.  Sara’s decision to find her leads her down a path that ultimately ends in personal disaster.

Rebecca Godfrey is a gifted author.  Her writing made Sara so real and Justine so intriguing.  She gave Sara flashes of hope with her interest and study in nursing while, in the context of the larger decisions she was making, illustrating her despair.  Sara tells her story from her memory as her life’s tragic circumstances are unfolding.  Godfrey’s stylistic choices with the use of quotation marks emphasizes how unreliable her story is, whether that be by choice or due to drug use.  Still, Godfrey is honest about who Sara is, even when Sara may not be honest herself

The Torn Skirt takes place in the 80s and it most definitely has that feel.  I was interested in Sara and her story from the very beginning and that held up all the way through until the end.  If you’ve ever known a lost teenager or if you were one yourself, you can relate to Sara and the impact that lack of direction and one bad decision can have on a young life.  You will remember how things are usually not what they seem.  You will recognize that those who seem confident in who they are and where they are going often are more lost than you are.

The Torn Skirt, which is Rebecca Godfrey’s first novel, was published in 2001.  I am eagerly waiting for her next.

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To buy this novel, click here.

3 Comments

  • At 2008.10.12 07:21, Shana @ Literarily said:

    Jennifer, I love reading books set in the 80’s that just *feel* like that decade. It must have something to do with my having grown up then.

    Sara sounds like a memorable, well developed character. The cover seems to say it all.

    Great review, girl!

    • At 2008.10.12 13:09, Darlene said:

      Great review Jennifer. I agree with Shana, reading novels set in the 80’s takes me back to my growing up days. This novel sounds quite good-another for the tbr list.

      • At 2008.10.13 13:29, Jenna said:

        Sounds like a good read. I’ll have to check this one out! : ]

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