Beautiful Girl Thumb
1 journaler for this copy...
Autographed, "To Marlene, all the best, Melissa Steele".
However, I was turned off from reading the book at the very first story. I had cracked open the book almost immediately after purchasing it. I was intrigued by the cover art and the title story is the very first story. But the story did not capture me and the book was relegated to a spot under my bed, where I could see it and pick it up at any time but didn't. The cover art did call to me from time to time but not loudly enough to cause me to actually rescue it from the dust bunnies. Finally I decided to include it the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge, Eh? if only to absolve myself from further guilt at seeing it waiting under the bed, unread, while I continued to bring into my boudoir yet more books and read them first.
Ultimately, it was the cover art that kept me committed to reading the book. So I wonder how the decisions are made and who makes them as to the order of the stories in the book and what goes on the cover. I've gleaned from somewhere that the author has very little to say as to what the cover looks like. I'm assuming then that it was the title story that inspired the cover art as opposed to Steele seeing the particular art and basing a story on it. But maybe I'm wrong.
Nevertheless the title story is the weakest one in my opinion. I didn't like it the second time round either. However the stories steadily improve from there and the final three, which are actually a series of connected stories are superb. In all of the stories, Steele's characters are very well-defined. They are all what we might call misfits. That is, sort of ordinary yet not quite up to the norm and they find themselves in seemingly ordinary modern day situations but which Steele exposes as being rather absurd. I particularly liked "They Eat Their Young" which is a story about parents trying to get their children in the best public school program. Parents line up, in advance of registration time, as if to get tickets or wrist bands for the chance to see a rock concert, spending the night in the gym (once the doors open) for the chance to get their kid a coveted spot. How bizarre and yet not.
My favourite stories were as I said the last three. I loved the characters (a family made up of dweebo-dweeb Nathan, his younger and always would be, nyah, nayh sister Gabbie and bible song singing mother Lynette, who is intent on becoming pregnant and father Jack, who has his PhD but works as a security guard in a library and who is determined to not have any more children.) Jack lives life with his nose in New Yorker magazines or a book, in particular Henry James' *What Maisie Knew*.
Now the reference to this book, *What Maisie Knew* is driving me nuts, because surely it must have some significance. But not having read it, I don't know what that would be and from what I do know about it, it doesn't seem to fit.
So now I figure I'll have to read, What Maisie Knew. And wouldn't you know, I've had the book on my shelf for years meaning to read it and then recently released it into the wild unread! Oh bother, I should have just left it under my bed.
Beautiful Girl Thumb though is ready to hit the road. It was my fifth book read for the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge.
Edited to add: I don't know what's going on with this site, but for some reason the cover picture has disappeared. Don't know why; it was here previously. But if you click on the book, it'll show up for you. Weird.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Nordstrom's end of the mall, on the stand alone display featuring body parts.