The Burning Girl (Hardcover)
I thought the heartbreak of the loss and complication of friendships during the middle school years was long gone. However, when reading Clare Messud’s sagacious novel about girls’ relationships with each other and their mothers, all those feelings of confusion, allegiance, and insecurity resurfaced, showing me the bittersweet experience of growing up. The Burning Girl is an essential addition to the canon of “coming of age” novels.— Sarah Bagby
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.