The Burning Girl

The Burning Girl

by Claire Messud


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A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
"[A] masterwork of psychological fiction.… Messud teases readers with a psychological mystery, withholding information and then cannily parceling it out." —Chicago TribuneJulia and Cassie have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge and Cassie sets out on a journey that will put her life in danger and shatter her oldest friendship. The Burning Girl is a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about youth and friendship, and straddles, expertly, childhood’s imaginary worlds and painful adult reality—crafting a true, immediate portrait of female adolescence.Claire Messud, one of our finest novelists, is as accomplished at weaving a compelling fictional world as she is at asking the big questions: To what extent can we know ourselves and others? What are the stories we create to comprehend our lives and relationships? Brilliantly mixing fable and coming-of-age tale, The Burning Girl gets to the heart of these matters in an absolutely irresistible way.The Burning Girl was named one of the best books of the year by the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, NPR, Financial Times, Town & Country, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Refinery29, and Literary Hub.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393356052
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 331,932
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Claire Messud is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The author of five other works of fiction including, most recently, The Burning Girl, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her family.


Somerville, MA, USA

Place of Birth:

Greenwich, CT, USA


BA in Comparative Literature, Yale University, 1987, MA in English Literature, Jesus College, Cambridge University, 1989

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The Burning Girl 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was easy to get into and become attached to the characters quickly. The plot was filled with twists, and unpredictable. A good summary on modern day communities, families, and the people we love, whom we think we know, only to find in retrospect that you can rarely know all the details of someone's circumstance. People use affected personas, tell their own version of the truth as what might percieve at the time. All of us are fluid, in motion, constantly changing in some ways, while trying our best to put your best face forward in public and private.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't love this book. It moved really slowly, and dragged on far too long at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I kept waiting for something to HAPPEN! This is a character sketch of 2 girls and not much else...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought provoking
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Throughout the whole story you really want to know more about how Cassie ends up...the ending leaves you flat.