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A Girl, in Parts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2002

    An auspicious debut...

    I read this novel on the recommendation of a friend. The title refers to the different stages of the main character's (Dorothy) life and this unique narrative structure as well as the insightful way Jasmine Paul has revealed Dorothy's inner and outer life should elevate the novel to the top ranks. Dorothy's voice is insistent, provocative and crystal clear. Paul emphasizes the small, seemingly insignificant personal dramas in the life of an adolescent girl and manages to capture the specifics of her main character's ever changing emotional upheavals while simultaneously making these upheavals universal and instantly recognizable. This is a remarkable debut novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2002

    Dottie's Believability Distinguishes 'A Girl, in Parts' from the Rest

    The irony of this fantastic new novel is that, on the surface, you would think that the simple title tells it all: growing pains, boy troubles and meddling parents, right? However, the truth is that Jasmine Paul has written a vastly different coming of age story, just when you thought you've seen them all. And, to boot, a parent (like myself) can be as rewarded by this book as their child is, but for completely different reasons. Ms. Paul has created a wonderfully believable protagonist in Dorothy; she's doesn't fall into any one category, as many stories tend to pigeonhole characters into. Dottie's observations on family, school and culture are so keen to a ten-year-old girl that I'm surprised she is made up. My fourteen-year-old swears she knew someone just like her, 'way back when.' In my business (of education), I have read more stories of and for youth than I can recall. 'A Girl, in Parts' is unique because it's not written as the wistful recollection of an adult, nor as the narrow misadventures of playful youth. It is a real, honest portrayal of growing up, to be enjoyed by those who have made it through or, more importantly, the kids that are still in it.

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