Girlchild – A Good Read
January 17, 2013 § 4 Comments
I’ve been listening to the debut novel Girlchild, written and narrated by Tupelo Hassman.
It’s the saddest, yet most intriguing story I think I’ve ever read. It’s sad, because of (Girchild) Rory D’s early suffering, the result of her place on the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder. It’s intriguing because Tupelo’s words and voice are so true I’m having trouble accepting that the author and the young heroine aren’t one and the same.
Ms. Hassman is that good of an author.
Last week I saw a doctor with lots of framed diploma’s hanging on her walls (eight golden-framed diplomas) who spent an hour and a half talking with me …all about me.
“Why was I there? How is my sleep? Tell me about your upbringing?” etc.
They were all the usual questions a doctor asks a patient sitting uncomfortably at the end of a very soft leather couch and I answered each inquiry to the best of my ability, glossing over stuff that’s so old it doesn’t seem relevant anymore.
Often I was surprised by doctor lady’s physical reaction to my half-hearted attempts to sound completely fine with things that may not be.
“Oh dear,” said the sad eyes peeking over the laptop screen. ”Not fair,” said the furrowed, but soft and caring brow.
When she spoke the words, “that’s trauma,” words to match the eyes and the brow, I was surprised.
Trauma? If you say so.
In one of the last chapters I listened to today, Girldchild was discussing the directions you follow to draw a bird, any bird. You begin with an egg shape, because all birds come from eggs and so they fit in that shape.
The chapter went on to discuss how if a bird begins in an egg, and lives its life still shaped like an egg, then maybe all of us are like birds, permanently shaped from the places from whence we came.
But she reminded the reader that inside eggs are also wings that give the bird the ability to fly. They fly away, but can’t ever fly far enough to lose their egg-like shape; the shape that made them to begin with.
“You bet your sweet ass,” would have been R.D.’s response had someone else spoken those very same words; had they come to the very same conclusion.
She might have been poor and abused, but those truths didn’t negate that Tupelo’s Girlchild kept putting one foot in front of the other, was blessed with a reader’s mind, and was right about more than most people whose lives began glossy and never stray from the pretty.
Even if she never escapes the trailer park, I think this is the equation for a life well-lived. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, only where your going (even if it’s only in your mind).
I hope I’m not wrong.
My sweet ass is betting I’m not wrong.
Have you read Girlchild?