Girl Trouble

Girl Trouble

3.7 4
by Holly Goddard Jones
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Girl Trouble, a Harper Perennial paperback original, is Rona Jaffe Award winner Holly Goddard Jones’s debut short story collection, set around small-town Southerners caught in moral and sometimes mortal quandaries. Written with extraordinary empathy and maturity, and with the breadth and complexity of a novel, these eight beautifully written, achingly

…  See more details below

Overview

Girl Trouble, a Harper Perennial paperback original, is Rona Jaffe Award winner Holly Goddard Jones’s debut short story collection, set around small-town Southerners caught in moral and sometimes mortal quandaries. Written with extraordinary empathy and maturity, and with the breadth and complexity of a novel, these eight beautifully written, achingly poignant, and occasionally heartbreaking stories explore the fine line between right and wrong, good and bad, love and violence.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The eight stories in this debut collection maintain a sense of isolation and loss while depicting and dissecting the lives of drifting characters making questionable decisions in a quiet Kentucky town. In the title piece, a father is faced with a moral quandary when his 19-year-old son is accused of raping a local teenager. The others follow similar themes of emotional voids and gaps in trust. In "Upright Man," a college-bound town kid, Matt, befriends "large and muscular and handsome" country-boy Robbie while doing manual labor the summer after graduation. Though Robbie helps Matt get his first girlfriend, Matt secretly desires Robbie's girl and discovers how easily betrayal overcomes good intentions. The strongest entries are "Parts" and "Proof of God," opposite sides of the same tale, narrated in turn by the mother who loses her daughter in a horrific crime, and the college classmate who killed her. Throughout each, the fallible characters are handled with delicate honesty. Though the setting tends to feel repetitive, Jones writes with grace and ease, the selections adding up to a powerful sum of reflection, loss and regret. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Las Vegas Weekly
“The stories from Girl Trouble are poignant and approachable-ripe for any audience. The human touch and prairie isolation of her characters are pitch-perfect. . . . Sharply intellectual. With a debut as striking as Girl Trouble, Jones could very well join the tradition of America’s great Southern writers.”
The Nashville Scene
Girl Trouble resonates with black-coal sorrow and dark truths found in [Jones’s] native state’s darkest hollers. . . . Nothing is contrived; every story is steeped in reality, and clarity comes with a price.”
The News & Observer
“Powerful . . . Strong, subtly nuanced.”
New York Press
“Poignant and approachable-ripe for any audience. The human touch and prairie isolation of her characters are pitch perfect. . . . Jones’ prose is also sharply intellectual. With a debut as striking as Girl Trouble, Jones could very well join the tradition of America’s great Southern writers.”
Booklist
“This masterful debut dramatizes the fortitude of small-town southerners confronting situations gone terribly wrong and the shadowed boundaries of love, morality, and violence. . . . Jones’ seemingly effortless style makes the eight tales quietly powerful and achingly human.”
Chicago Tribune
“Gritty, eloquent dispatches from the heartland. . . . Jones’ hauntingly accomplished language lifts the mundane to the level of profound tragedy.”
People
“Jones’ sparkling debut collection zeroes in on lonely searching souls making do in a quiet Kentucky town.”
Oxford American
“Jones exposes a world that is darkly seductive.”
People Magazine
"Jones’ sparkling debut collection zeroes in on lonely searching souls making do in a quiet Kentucky town."
Claire Messud
“Holly Goddard Jones is blessed with wisdom beyond her years, a gimlet eye, and an enviable literary talent; her debut collection, GIRL TROUBLE, is a fierce and exhilarating achievement.”
Joshua Ferris
“No politician should ever again use the phrase ‘The American People’ without reading this book, preferably twice, so that they understand at last just who the hell they’re talking about. Holly Goddard Jones has a voice as expansive, complex, and beautiful as the country itself.”
Edward P. Jones
“A grand debut of a writer who is assured, sensitive, and wonderfully skillful. . . . A marvelous work of heartbreaking wisdom.”
George Pelecanos
“GIRL TROUBLE is a powerful, resonant short story collection from the uniquely talented Holly Goddard Jones.”

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061959486
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
721,192
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

Joshua Ferris
“No politician should ever again use the phrase ‘The American People’ without reading this book, preferably twice, so that they understand at last just who the hell they’re talking about. Holly Goddard Jones has a voice as expansive, complex, and beautiful as the country itself.”
George Pelecanos
“GIRL TROUBLE is a powerful, resonant short story collection from the uniquely talented Holly Goddard Jones.”
Edward P. Jones
“A grand debut of a writer who is assured, sensitive, and wonderfully skillful. . . . A marvelous work of heartbreaking wisdom.”
Claire Messud
“Holly Goddard Jones is blessed with wisdom beyond her years, a gimlet eye, and an enviable literary talent; her debut collection, GIRL TROUBLE, is a fierce and exhilarating achievement.”

Meet the Author

Holly Goddard Jones's stories have appeared in New Stories from the South, Best American Mystery Stories, and various literary journals. She is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the winner of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Girl Trouble 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
This eight story collection "answers" the Beatles question in Eleanor Rigby: "Where do all the lonely people go?"; they go to Roma Kentucky. Each tale focuses on a person(s) who has personal moral issues relating to others that bring their own ethics into question like the father of a son accused of rape (title tale) or married with a newborn basketball coach's star pregnant with his child ("Life Expectancy"). The entries are quite good, but the locale can feel repetitive as it limits the environment; as such this reviewer suggests reading GIRL TROUBLE over a couple of weeks. The best short stories especially worth reading together are the insightful duality entries of "Parts" and "Proof of God"; the same incident the vicious murder of a young girl is told by her mother and her killer. The townsfolk make Holly Goddard Jones's compilation worth a visit to Kentucky. Harriet Klausner