Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Girls of No Return

Sunrise was at 7:14, sunset will be at 4:33, just after my afternoon break. Dark yesterday at 5.

Pretty day out there. Blue skies, orange trees, sun's up, rooftops are all frosty, and D had to wear his gloves for his bus ride to work. It's cold and I covered the daphne last night. I walked to the car after working out and it felt like my whole body was in the middle of a peppermint patty, the air tingled around me!

I'm making minestrone soup this morning with chard and cannellini beans and a sprig of rosemary from the back yard. The tomato soup was a hit although D would have liked shrimp or prawns in his. I just can't do that. The colors would be awful together and that bothers me! I don't mind prawns and I don't mind tomato soup, but I can't do them all mixed up in one pot. Sorry, D.

Just finished a really great book called The Girls of No Return, by Erin Saldin. It's about a group of girls sent to a wilderness school, a school where girls who have nowhere else to go after violence or troubles at home and school. Lida is unable to talk about why she is there, her Thing is a secret, maybe even a secret to her, but this year is supposed to test her physically and emotionally, to allow her to come to grips with why she is having the trouble she is. At The Alice Marshall School in the middle of a wilderness area, she meets Boone (rumors abound about her and her crimes), Jules (who is oddly happy to be there), and Gia, a glamor girl with more secrets than anyone and the ability to attract the neediest girls to her.

Boone, Lida and Gia form a triangle with Lida at the apex. Boone and Gia really dislike each other and Lida is torn having to choose between what could be a rocky friendship with Boone and her attraction to Gia and her glamorous life.
When things come to a violent confrontation between the three of them, Lida finally has to decide what her role in her own life is going to be.

I love the location of the book, deep in the middle of a wilderness area, so the girls had nowhere to go and had only a small community of other women to be with. They are given the skills to live in the woods, mapping skills, hiking, learning the local flora and fauna, and even the girls who are fully made up every day learn how to tell north from south. I really appreciate having a book about girls who learn outdoor survival skills, about young women who are strong and combative. It's good to know that there's a book out there about girls who know they can survive on their own, make their own decisions, and live with the decisions they make. Ages 14 and up. (Scholastic Books. Available February 2012. $17.99.)

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