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From the Publisher"A masterful fiction writer tells her own story: one little girl dies, the other comes of age and gives voice to herself and her murdered friend. Riveting, heartbreaking, hilarious, I loved this book for its compassion, its vividness, and its flashes of justifiable anger. A life-affirming read."
— Wally Lamb, author of She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True
"This is a riveting book, memory lane as a crime scene that needs to be relived to be understood. In this family saga of ethnic New England (a seldom-visited subject, but one dear to my heart), Ms. Tirone Smith has put all her energy as a writer of crime fiction to solve a mystery from her own past."
— Paul Theroux
"Girls of Tender Age begins as a charming story of place; it becomes a brutal moral indictment and a very important book. Mary-Ann Tirone Smith writes with the muscle and sly ease which are the hallmarks of a master at work."
— Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch
"I read Tirone Smith's memoir with my heart in my mouth. What starts as an evocation of a lost time — immigrant lives in 1950s Hartford — takes a dark turn when a killer walks into this world. Visceral, sharp-edged, beautifully nuanced, Girls of Tender Age is the real deal."
— Alison Smith, author of Name All the Animals
"Mary-Ann Tirone Smith is an adept literary juggler. She creates a tour de force in Girls of Tender Age by combining a coming-of-age story with a heinous crime that shapes her life. In addition, we get a visceral sense of the Connecticut she grew up in and a fascinating look at her family's struggle with an autistic sibling. I could not put this book down until I had turned every page."
— Jane Stern, author of Ambulance Girl
"Nostalgia collides with horror in Girls of Tender Age, and the effect is once warm and unsettling. Mary-Ann Tirone Smith's voice is wry and elegiac, and her memoir is utterly absorbing."
— Stewart O'Nan, author of Wish You Were Here
"When you read Girls of Tender Age, you will realize that this could be the best family memoir you have ever read. Smith is more than a masterful writer. We are carried along on a wondrous peregrination among bookies, catatonics, crazy relatives hiding in the coal bin or plopped under a wedding table — a veritable whirl of family dysfunction presented by an artful and very functional storyteller. I loved reading this book."
— Dennis Smith, author of Report from Ground Zero and San Francisco Is Burning