The Eliot Girls by Krista Bridge

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Bridge is so preoccupied with her wordsmithing that, by the novel’s halfway point, we still don’t have what you’d call a plot.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Review in Bookviews (blog), March 2015
A gripping debut teeming with drama and scathing insight into the world of an all-girl private high school.

For years, Audrey Brindle has dreamed of attending George Eliot Academy, the school where her mother, Ruth, has taught for a decade. But when she is finally admitted, she discovers a place of sly bullying and ferocious intolerance. Ruth, meanwhile, finds her world upended by the arrival of a new teacher, Henry Winter.

An acutely observed exploration of ambition, betrayal, and cruelty, The Eliot Girls deftly explores the intimacies and injustices of privileged female adolescence and the relationship of a mother and daughter for whom life will never be the same.
 

About Krista Bridge

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Krista Bridge's fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Toronto Life, Descant, 05: Best Canadian Stories, and The Journey Prize Anthology, and has been a finalist for a National Magazine Award and the Writers' Trust/McClelland and Stewart Journey Prize. Her first book, a collection of stories called the The Virgin Spy (Douglas & McIntyre), was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the Relit Award. She lives in Toronto.
 
Published May 24, 2013 by Douglas & McIntyre. 336 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Eliot Girls
All: 5 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Above average
on Dec 07 2014

A patina of restraint and deeply buried resentment infuses every passage and short, meaning-laden exchange, making this a minutely observed if occasionally claustrophobic portrait of personal awakenings.

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Globe and Mail

Above average
Reviewed by Steven W Beattie on Jul 12 2013

Less effective is the general vagueness of the book’s timeframe...it is impossible to tell precisely when The Eliot Girls is meant to take place. References to Lululemon outfits and cellphones abut apparently anachronistic details...

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Hunter on Jun 21 2013

Bridge writes elegantly and has great perception about the foibles of adolescent girls and the social pressure they are under.

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National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on Jul 05 2013

Bridge is so preoccupied with her wordsmithing that, by the novel’s halfway point, we still don’t have what you’d call a plot.

Read Full Review of The Eliot Girls | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on Jul 05 2013

Many of The Eliot Girls’ problems stem from Bridge’s use of what’s sometimes called the free indirect style...Here, the narrator’s tortuously filigreed language and preciousness of tone is distinctly Larissa’s, yet the novel isn’t always told from her perspective. This often creates grating incongruities.

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