In the early 1980s in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Dorothy lives with her bartending mother, her bar-attending stepfather, and her sweetly precocious little brother. Dottie's nine, plagued by insomnia, asthma, earaches, and buckteeth. She is lonely and insecure, but her intelligence and keen sense of perception enable her to see every vivid detail of her impoverished rural surroundings and the strange characters around her. When her family moves to Eastern Washington State, Dottie--confused, petulant, and feeling more alone than ever, furious at her changing body--battles her way through junior high, where she finds a measure of success and recognition in sports and academics. But her hard-won little victories are tempered by her troubled family and friends and she finds solace and distraction in alcohol, cigarettes, and general misbehavior. Dottie--nicknamed Utah by her teammates from the Colville Indian Reservation--becomes a star basketball player, falls in and out of love (more than once), and finally confronts a new, devastating emotional setback. But Dottie is indomitable: she emerges triumphantly as a young woman with limitless dreams and confidence in an uncertain world.
Gritty and realistic, A Girl, In Parts is never sentimental about either poverty or childhood. Dorothy is a tough and winning character, a true-to-life heroine perfect for the twenty-first century. First novelist Jasmine Paul has crafted an elegant story in ninety-seven perfectly told vignettes.
About Jasmine PaulSee more books from this Author
Dottie spends a lot of time obsessing over her real father, who lives back in Cleveland, and over Lyle’s complete lack of usefulness, but it’s in the parsing of the everyday traumas and epiphanies of childhood that Paul’s fiction starts to pop off the page.| Read Full Review of A Girl, in Parts: A Novel
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