Friday, April 6, 2012

the talk-funny girl by roland merullo

A riveting story of abuse and the redemptive power of kindness by the author of Breakfast With Buddha. Marjorie Richards, completely isolated from society by her parents until the age of nine (when social services forced them to allow her to attend school), lives in a rustic cabin in the woods, suffering physical and psychological abuse at her mentally ill parents' grim and sadistic hands. Followers of a twisted cult, they force seventeen-year-old Marjorie to find work to support them and their monthly alcohol-fueled escapes in their dirty pick-up. This isn't a light tale of abuse; one scene involves facing: a paper bag is placed over Marjorie's head and an entire congregation takes turns hitting, pummeling, and poking her, not lightly, in the face. The light at the end of the incredibly dark tunnel is lit when she is offered a job rebuilding a cathedral in town alongside a talented builder, a victim of abuse himself. As Marjorie develops her own set of skills, her self-esteem rises along with the walls of the cathedral, allowing her to allow herself escape from her further deteriorating and ruinous home life. Give this one to fans of Emma Donaghue's Room and Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It. Click here for the full Washington Post review. Grade 9+