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Girls : A Novel by Frederick Busch
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Girls : A Novel (edition 1997)

by Frederick Busch

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251945,664 (3.76)2
Member:katiekrug
Title:Girls : A Novel
Authors:Frederick Busch
Info:New York : Harmony Books, c1997.
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:Fiction, contemporary American

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Girls: A Novel by Frederick Busch

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English (7)  Dutch (2)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
What an unexpected delight. ( )
  kylenapoli | Feb 10, 2014 |
I picked up Frederick Busch's book hoping for a reasonably well done crime novel and got so much more than that. It was wonderfully written; Busch has the astonishing knack of making his words both eloquent and spare. His characters became people I knew, complex and interesting and the setting, a private university in upstate New York during a harsh winter, was so clearly drawn as to make me pull on gloves. Busch writes a little like Castle Freeman, Jr., which suits perfectly the setting of the book, but also with an understated descriptiveness that reminded me a little of Hemingway.

And, for all that, this is an unpretentious book about how a girl gone missing from a small farming community impacts the life of a man with the sorrow of his own daughter's death. Jack works as a university security guard, protecting the pampered children of well-to-do families as they do their best to misbehave. His wife and he are not doing so well; although they both wish their relationship was better, improving it seems to be impossible. Jack isn't a talkative man and his closest relationship is with his dog. When an acquaintance asks him to look into the girl's disappearance, he is reluctant to get involved. The state police know what they are doing and his investigating days never amounted to more than getting drunk servicemen to admit to their acts of violence. He slowly becomes obsessed with the missing girl, as she becomes mixed in his mind with his own daughter.

As much a psychological study of people handling more than they're equipped for, the plot nonetheless is well put together, creating a book that is both an entertainment and worth thinking about afterward. ( )
3 vote RidgewayGirl | Nov 5, 2013 |
There is a line in this book that says about the main character, Jack, that he's the kind of guy that makes you want to take care of him. Busch has created a character that seems so real that I did want to take care of him. The book follows Jack through a few months of a long, hard winter in upstate New York as he and his wife of many years try to cope with the death of their baby. Jack gets pulled into an investigation of a missing girl which opens up all kinds of feelings for him that he is unable to express. The setting and characters of this book are powerful. ( )
  castironskillet | Aug 13, 2013 |
A troubled soul wanders through the labyrinth of life after losing his infant daughter. The story reveals itself very slowly and intricately. The beginning is the end and there is no resolution to many of the issues in the book—true to life. This would not work if it were tied up in a neat bow at the end.

What was the purpose of the secret service issue. Seems like just part of the author’s political agenda—didn’t fit in unless I’m missing something. ( )
  beebeereads | Nov 15, 2008 |
Girls are missing from this college town and a lowly maintenance worker is brought into the fray. Brilliant writing. ( )
  bastet | Sep 24, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0449912639, Paperback)

Frederick Busch's 18th work of fiction, Girls, is a novel whose roots lie buried in an earlier short story. In "Ralph the Duck," Busch introduced Jack and Franny, a young couple trying to recover from the recent death of their baby daughter. In Girls Busch expands Jack and Franny's lives beyond this single personal tragedy to encompass a greater loss: the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl, daughter of the town minister and his dying wife, from the community.

Propelled by his own loss, Jack, a security guard at a local college, begins investigating the disappearance, and thus Busch's novel becomes a literary detective story. In the course of solving the mystery, Jack must grapple with his attraction to a professor at the college, the disintegration of his marriage, and the impossibility of outrunning the past.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A campus policeman's search for a missing girl, followed by the capture of her murderer. Set in an upstate New York college in the middle of winter, the novel looks at the fear that now exists in such places. By the author of The Children in the Woods.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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