The Bitch Posse

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Overview

"These are the confessions of the Bitch Posse. Cherry, Rennie, and Amy were outcasts, rebels, and dreamers. And their friendship was so all-encompassing that some would call it dangerous. This is the story of three women - as seniors in high school and as women in their mid-thirties - who formed a bond in order to survive the pitfalls and perils of their lives. In the present day, one of them is a wife and mother-to-be, trying to live a "normal" life. One of them is a writer who engages in a number of self-destructive relationships. And one of them is in a mental hospital - and has been ever since that one fateful night fifteen years ago, when a heart-wrenching betrayal and the unraveling of relationships led these friends to a point of no return, where their actions triggered unimaginable consequences. These secrets have torn them apart while inextricably binding them to one another. What happened to them? And can they survive their shared history, even today?" The Bitch Posse is an anthem for friendships that defy society's approval or disapproval. It's a novel of secrets, courage, sacrifice, and hope against the odds. It is both a journey back to being a girl on the verge of adulthood, and a journey forward, showing how the events of our past can unearth the best in us today.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"You Have Now Entered a Chick-Lit-Free Zone," O'Connor's dark, scabrous debut warns. Given the sassy title and the familiar subject matter of female friendship, readers should be forgiven if they expect Bridget Jones-but O'Conner's heroines resemble that lovable Brit like leopards resemble kittens. The story focuses on three friends, Cherry, Amy and Rennie, as high school seniors and as women in their mid-30s. Compelled by miserable home lives to form the Bitch Posse as teenagers, the three girls ricochet dangerously through their last year of high school, sharing a passionate, almost sinister bond until a terrible secret rips them apart. Still damaged-and separated-by the unspeakable event, the three live equally wretched lives as adults, Cherry in a mental institution, Rennie as a promiscuous failed writer and Amy in a loveless marriage. After pages of vodka, cocaine, "fucking" and "cutting" (in both past and present narratives), the friends' terrible secret finally comes to light, though it reveals logistical and thematic gaps in the narrative. "[H]er past is like a sore that won't ever heal, memories are spurting at her like blood and she can't close the wound" characterizes the level of emotional complexity attained in this heavy-handed novel, but the story fascinates even as it repels. Agent, Mary Evans. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Not for the faint of heart, this debut novel will keep readers glued to the very last page. Three high school friends, united in their feelings of not fitting in, form a club that they christen the Bitch Posse. The Posse gets Cherry, Rennie, and Amy through high school, but a violent incident at the end of their senior year breaks up the friends and casts a long shadow over their adult lives. Told in chapters that alternate among each club member's perspective, the story vacillates between the period of adolescent angst and the present, when they are all dealing, in various but equally dysfunctional ways, with what happened to them as teens. The details of the traumatic incident are not revealed until the end, when the reasons for their problems as adults become clear. This book contains strong language, explicit sex, and some violence. Recommended for public libraries with a following for suspense thrillers and fans of authors like Carol Goodman and Minette Walters.-Karen Traynor, Sullivan Free Lib., Chittenango, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Astonishing and truly remarkable...tough, subtle, tense, authentic, and very beautiful. If this isn't really Alice Sebold, Donna Tartt, or Barbara Vine writing under a pseudonym, then Martha O'Connor is a huge new talent who is already about as good as it gets."

—-Lee Child, author of The Enemy

 

"Compulsively readable…delicious and slightly macabre details of the mid-1980's alterna-teen culture."

-The Washington Post Book World

 

"There's nothing pink and frilly about this tale…It's scathing, dark and impossible to put down."

-The Newark Star-Ledger

"A sizzling page-turner."

-Cosmopolitan

"The Bitch Posse is a riveting and emotionally charged read. No fluff here."

Chicago Tribune

“Mysterious, violent…good girls by day and serious risk takers at night.”

Los Angeles Times

 

"Eye-opening, gut-wrenching…one of the best first novels I've read this year, one that I'd literally love to put in every discerning reader's hands." 

- Sarah Weinman, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, Pick of the Week

 

"Intense, disturbing, and deeply intriguing…Fast-paced yet hauntingly reflective, this is one tough and tender read."  

—Robert Gray, author of Fresh Eyes: A Bookseller's Journal

"Quite unabashedly satisfying...prompting even this most jaded reviewer to stay up until the wee hours of the night just to find out what happened next...a thrilling ride."

Bookreporter

"Not for the faint of heart, this debut novel will keep readers glued to the very last page."

Library Journal

"The story fascinates even as it repels."

Publishers Weekly

"As good a debut as it's cracked up to be...edgy, smart and sexy, like its heroines."

-The Tatler (UK)

"Reminiscent of cult movie 'Heathers', it revels in the seedy underbelly of American life." 

Glamour (UK)

"O'Connor nails the intense, us-against-the-world, overcooked emotion that defines the friendship of teen girls and the druggy delirium of first, sexual love."

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer

 

“Dark, compelling and not for the faint-hearted.'

Heat (UK)

"An angsty, serious novel of lost dreams and sexual damage."

-MARIE CLAIRE (UK)

"A little substance never hurt anyone, and The Bitch Posse offers plenty."

Winnipeg Free Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312333928
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha O’Connor lives in Marin County, California, with her husband, the novelist Philip F. O'Connor. The Bitch Posse is her first novel.

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Reading Group Guide

These are the confessions of The Bitch Posse.  

 

Cherry, Rennie, and Amy were outcasts, rebels, and dreamers. And their friendship was so all-encompassing that some would call it dangerous. This is the story of three women—as seniors in high school and as women in their mid-thirties—who formed a bond in order to survive the pitfalls and perils of their lives. Their secrets have torn them apart, while inextricably binding them to one another. hat happened to them? And can they survive their shared history, even today?

 

The Bitch Posse is an anthem for friendships that defy society’s approval or disapproval. It’s a novel of secrets, courage, sacrifice, and hope against the odds. It is both a journey back to being a girl on the verge of adulthood, and a journey forward, showing how the events of our past can unearth the best in us today.

 

Dare to jump in.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2008

    Good Read

    The first chapter I wasnt sure I was going to like this book but it really picks up and becomes a great read! It is a great reminder of all of the things that girls go through in high school.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2007

    BEST BOOK EVER!!!

    I absolutly loved this book. I read this book within 2 days. I couldnt put it down. I recommend this book to teenagers and older-younger adults. The way this story was written kept my curiouslity flowing and had me wanting to read more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2006

    Absolutely amazing

    crazy, intense, sexy and fun this book made life as a teenager seem so fun and you begin to wish you had friends like Rennie amy and cherrie suprising and really great I love this book it was really inspirational. a tale of TRUE friendship that u see rarely these days. it was absolutely awesome

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2005

    Breathtaking

    I absolutely fell in love with this book. Its so intense and just over takes you. I couldn't stop reading it. Very explicit and real. Highly recommended (16+).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2005

    A+++ Debut from Martha

    I was hooked on this book from page one! It is such a wonderful talent from a first time author. Look forward to many more books from this author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2005

    GREAT BOOK

    I loved the way this book was put together and the way it was written, a great read, I look forward to more books by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2005

    THIS BOOK WAS SUCH A GREAT BOOK

    this book was one of the best books i have ever read . i can never not talk about it it really did influnce me in many ways this book really did teach me diffrent things.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2005

    Highly Recommended !!!!

    What an intense and fascinating book. I have recently become an avid reader and I must say that this is by far the best book I have read yet. Recommended to all and I am still trying to pass the book on to anyone who likes a juicy book. The story is so realistic by the accounts of what teenagers face today. It is amazing how many teenagers and women are living the parallel lives of these three women. The accounts of their lives are similiar to the accounts that you hear from real adults in treatment while working in the field of mental health and substance abuse. People can tell you their stories but this book allowed me to feel like I was living the events with them. It is also interesting to see how their life experiences bonded their friendship and how a traumatic event could never allow them to repair it. I bought the book and could not stop reading it until it was finished. When it was over I was sad that the reading had to end. I loved the way the book kept you reading it so you could get back to one of the character within that time frame.This is one of those books that you will think about for many days after you have finished it. Can't wait for another book like this one!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2005

    Excellent Debut

    For me, the title of this book suggested a light-hearted read about teenage angst. However, this novel is so much more. The reader is instantly pulled into the turbulent teenage lives of high school seniors: Amy, Cherry, and Rennie. Each girl is coping with family life issues that one would hope an average teen would never have to deal with. It's a raw and gritty coming of age tale. There's a lot to make you grimace while reading this book. For example, there's a scene where the threesome pledge their allegiance to the friendship by cutting their arms and drawing blood and then mixing the blood in a jar. A dreadful event and secret shatters the friendship. The reader is taken on a journey that goes back and forth from the self-proclaimed Posse's senior year in high school until the young women are in their thirties. There's no fairy tale ending in this book. It's all raw, in your face, and real. I loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2005

    Sexy & Deep

    This book was incredibly sexy and provocative. It was so natural. The characters were so well developed that you feel like they are real. Impossible to put down, it's a real adventure to read. It will make you laugh and cry, and it will make you angry and forgiving. It's a great story you will never forget.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2005

    Want a Grim, In-Your-Face Adventure? Ride with Martha O'Connor's THE BITCH POSSE

    Want a Grim, In-Your-Face Adventure? Ride with Martha O¿Connor;s THE BITCH POSSE. The girls have no one but each other. Amy comes from a home where drunken parents can¿t give the damn they feel for her, or her mentally retarded sister. Rennie¿s father has married a girl half his age. They have a baby, leaving little room for Rennie in their lives. Cherry¿s mom snorts cocaine, and smokes dope with Cherry. Once high, they fight--savagely. Calling themselves The Bitch Posse, the three teens flounder at high school, supporting each other through episodes of bad grades and well-meaning teachers who try break up the group, believing them bad for each other. The Bitch Posse also rallies together when the harsher stuff hits: screaming fights at Amy¿s, Cherry¿s mom unconscious in the john from an overdose, and Rennie¿s dad just not there when she needs him. But all that is nothing when real trouble hits-- the kind that alters the lives of The Bitch Posse forever. Will they work through the mess, and become healthy young adults? Or will they remain damaged? Author Martha O¿Connor, lets us decide for ourselves by the end of the book. Shifting from Amy, Cherry, and Rennie¿s teen years to their young adulthood and back, she puts their lives together like a puzzle. A picture of incredible anguish emerges, punctuated by aching tenderness and beauty when they gather to help each other. Through this emotional mix, O¿Connor creates real people. We sympathize with The Bitch Posse's experiences, recognizing in them our own teenage angst. We also cringe at their escapades, realizing but for strong parents, teachers, or other mentors, we might have made the same bad choices these girls did. O¿Connor guides our reactions by interweaving each character¿s point of view through story. She employs direct, and elegant language, changing the rhythm, sentence structure, and sound of her words to mach her characters¿ personalities, moods, and actions. Solid scenes support the vivid voices of Amy, Rennie, and Cherry. Each setting has a purpose. From Rennie¿s torrid affairs of pure sex without love as a young woman, to Cherry¿s self-destructive behavior throughout her life, little in THE BITCH POSSE is gratuitous. By the end of the the book, we love and hate; hope and despair for these girls-turned-woman. We realize that sometimes even negative influences are okay, when that¿s all we have. We feel a lot of `there but for the Grace, go I.¿ THE BITCH POSSE is grim and in-your-face. It¿s definitely not for kids--at least without strict parental guidance and discussion during reading. Still, THE BITCH POSSE makes us think about lives we might have had, and the lives our friends and neighbors might face. A book should do that once in a while. If you¿re up for it, THE BITCH POSSE is a moving read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2005

    Vividly Recalls Small Town, Teenage Life

    After slowly reading through the first half of the book over a period of days, I sat down read the last 160 pages in one night. It was definitely something I wanted to read through, to see the end of, to find out what happened. The story seemingly has no real beginning, no real middle, and no real end, but of course in a sense it has all those things. The three main characters (as teenagers) spend their time rebelling against the common mores of their community. Their actions and reactions are such that at one point I thought: 'God, aren't these girls just whining middle class Midwesterners?' But then I realized: I'm a whining middle class Midwesterner and these girls are exactly (all of them, not just the Posse but the other, more popular girls, too) are the people I remember from high school. The book captures an aspect of small town Midwestern life that I remember vividly. One can see the story as it appears on the surface: three friends, small town boredom, middle class angst, horrifically 'upstanding' people; or one can look deeper and see the disorder of the soul that comes from this pretense of virtue in a vicious world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2005

    Thank you, Martha O'connor

    I have been waiting for someone to do what Martha O'connor has done--tell the truth about what it really means to be a rebel. This book is controversial because it is no longer 'hip' for girls and women to really connect with each other. While the tone is at times sad and even cynical, the message of hope comes through loud and clear. We can still find meaning here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2005

    Nothing to Bitch About Here!

    Can I just say that this has got to be one of the best books I've read. Ever. I was hooked after the first few pages and just got drawn in more and more with each page turn. One might think from the title that this is a chick book. One would be wrong. Although I'm sure the primary target audience is female, this is decidedly *not* some schmaltzy Lifetime-esque story. The book explores the lives of 3 female characters: Rennie, Cherry and Amy - The Bitch Posse. The reader is taken on a journey which (so far) jumps back and forth from 1988 to 2003 for each of the protagonists, who are actually also antagonists (to themselves anyway). Each of their stories is unique, but at the same time eerily and heartbreaklingly similar to the others'. I'm going to stop with that because you really need to buy this book and read it for yourself. Yes, It's *that* good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2005

    Amazingly close to home

    This book was great, very truthful, and very realistic for me

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2005

    not as good as I expected

    I was eager to read this. It has been heavily promoted as 'another Donna Tartt, Alice Sebold, or Joyce Carol Oates'. Well, I don't think it's fair to the book to do this as it sets a very high expectation that is hard to meet. While this book is well written, and lyrical in parts, it is not in the same league as those other writers. This story has a very 'look at me', self-conscious feel about it. This is immediately evident by the beginning, and the rather pathetic attempt to both capitalize on and look down upon the popularity of the chick lit genre by marketing this as 'anti-chick lit'. My main issue though with this book is the way I felt when I finished, with an empty, 'so what' kind of feeling. Why did I just spend a few hours reading a story that really didn't say anything? or go anywhere? There is no character growth here. So one is left wondering, 'what was the point?'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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