Girl Talk by Julianna Baggott

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Lissy Jablonski was fifteen during the summer of 1985. That was the summer her father, a soft-spoken, seemingly passionless gynecologist, up and left her mother for a redheaded bank teller. The same summer Lissy and her mother disappeared from their quiet New Hampshire lives to have an adventure of their own amid a cast of unlikely characters, including a Valium-addicted ex-debutante and a suspected mobster. The summer the reliably comforting "girl talks" with her mother began to reveal startling secrets. It was also the summer that Lissy's mother would ever after refer to as "the summer that never happened."
Now an almost-thirty-years-old advertising executive in Manhattan, faced with her father's imminent death and newly pregnant by her married ex-lover, an unmoored Lissy finds herself looking back across the years. Contending with her affections for an old boyfriend and his doomed marriage to a Korean stripper named Kitty Hawk, as well as the tangible legacies of that unmentionable summer with her mother, she realizes that she has become more like her mother than she ever could have imagined.
In her debut novel, acclaimed short-story writer and poet Julianna Baggott has woven a precise, smartly comic, and compassionate tale of discovery and desire. With a lyrical sensibility, Baggott reminds us -- through the witty and unsparingly realistic voice of her narrator, Lissy -- of the pleasures and sorrows that can come from the most unreasonable realities of the heart.

About Julianna Baggott

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JULIANNA BAGGOTT is the author of sixteen books--published and forthcoming--including national bestseller Girl Talk and Which Brings Me to You (co-written with Steve Almond); three books of poems, and seven novels for young readers, most notably The Anybodies trilogy, under the pen name N.E. Bode. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Best American Poetry 2000, 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Everyday (ed. Billy Collins), The Southern Review, TriQuarterly, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry, Glamour, Ms. Magazine, and read on NPR's Talk of the Nation.
Published April 5, 2001 by Atria Books. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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These three events trigger Lissy’s reexamination of her past, especially “the summer that never happened,” her 15th year when Lissy’s father ran off to Arizona with a redhead;

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In an attempt to spare her daughter the humiliation of her father's moral misstep, Dotty Jablonski takes Lissy away from her New Hampshire life to the only refuge she can think of: the home of her rich college friend, Juniper Fiske.The Fiske family, including children Piper and Church, are possib...

Feb 01 2002 | Read Full Review of Girl Talk

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