- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Frederick Busch's novel Girls is an elegant, literary mystery, bound by loss and driven by hope. From their origin in the short story "Ralph the Duck," Busch's characters Jack and Fanny evolve, embraced by the sorrow that divides their marriage and reverberates through the tale of Girls. The suffering they've endured since the death of their daughter haunts Jack's vision. His world is pockmarked by missing children, his daily responsibilities as a college campus security guard laced with anguish.
Jack is haunted by the vulnerability of young girls: "I wondered if girls had been kidnapped, murdered, preyed upon for years. Maybe it was the times, and therefore everything human and otherwise from when we began might not be at fault." When 14-year-old Janice Tanner disappears, his obsession is channeled into a passionate search for her abductor. His empathy for Janice's bereaved parents is profound, but the investigation is undertaken not simply that he might recover the missing girl, but in hope of obtaining salvation for his own family's pain.
In the dank cold of upstate New York, masterful moments of confrontation rise from a silent din of impending danger. There's no doubt Busch's place among the masters of narrative is secured with his memorable characterization of Jack and this vivid tale of human fragility.