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St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by…

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Vintage Contemporaries) (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Karen Russell

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1,240539,629 (3.74)101
Title:St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Vintage Contemporaries)
Authors:Karen Russell
Info:Vintage (2007), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell (2006)


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» See also 101 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
In the end, I didn't read many of these stories - I skipped the ones that were sketches of what later became Swamplandia! since I already read that book. The titles of her stories are fantastic, but the stories themselves don't live up to them. I'm not sure why, since they're filled with imagination and good writing. Reading them felt like listening to someone reading a fantastic story in a monotone. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
You can this review and more like it on my blog.

She used to have these intense bouts of homesickness in her own bedroom. When she was very small, she would wake up tearing at her bedspread and shrieking, "I wanna go home! I wanna go home!" Which was distressing to all of us, of course, because she was home.

Nobody is more bummed than me that I didn't like this collection. My first introduction to Karen Russell was Vampires in the Lemon Grove, another collection of short stories that I picked up on a whim in 2015 and absolutely devoured. It became one of my favorite books and I recommended it to literally everyone who would listen. Ironically enough, while I chose it for the postal book club that my friend Rachel started, another group member (there are 12 of us) chose this one! I was stoked that I would finally get the chance to read more of Karen's work.

Everybody wants to go home, and no one can agree on where that is anymore.

Unfortunately, the majority of the stories in this collection just didn't vibe with me. They felt bizarre just for the sake of being bizarre and I found it impossible to connect with any of the characters (save for a couple). The stories felt like they stopped abruptly and I had difficulty understanding their purpose. There were some stories about girls having questionable relationships with grown men that made me unbelievably uncomfortable. Perhaps there were underlying messages that I truly just didn't understand.

My rating for each story:

Ava Wrestles the Alligator 3/5 (cw sexual assault??)
Haunting Olivia 2/5 (cw familial death)
ZZ's Sleep-Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers 2/5 (cw r-word, animal death)
The Star-Gazer's Log of Summer-Time Crime 2/5 (cw ableism)
Children's Reminiscences of the Westward Migration 4/5
Lady Yeti and the Palace of Artificial Snows 3/5
The City of Shells 3.5/5
Out to Sea 2/5 (cw underage drug abuse; pedophilia)
Accident Brief, Occurrence #00/422 2.5/5 (cw casual racism)
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves 4/5

He is an obdurate man, a man of irritating, inveterate habits. He refuses to put down toilet seats, or quit sucking on pistachio shells, or die.

My average rating was 2.8 stars, rounded down to 2. I think the content warnings really speak for themselves as to why I didn't love this collection. Many of the stories included problematic themes that I didn't really find combated or justified in any way. I suppose the point of this collection is to make people uncomfortable, but aside from the two four-star stories, I just didn't enjoy myself reading this. I was going to DNF after the fourth story, but I really wanted to finish this for the book club and was also looking forward to the title story (which was last, and which was worth reading).

This book may still be worth it for you if you're interested. It definitely worked for other people, so I don't want to turn anyone away, but this really wasn't for me. ( )
  samesfoley | Dec 26, 2018 |
These were fairly well-constructed stories, but only a very few of them struck any real chord with me. They were sweet, and silly, and sad, and whimsical, and melancholyÛ_ but the collection overall just didn‰Ûªt overwhelm me. I could see fans of spec lit and funny little short stories loving this, but there was just too much giggle, not enough bite for me. ( )
  michaeladams1979 | Oct 11, 2018 |
This collections of short stories deal with themes of the transition from adolescence to adulthood, loss and grief, and animal nature of humanity. They are deeply in the magical realism genre as these coming of age stories include fantastical elements. My favorite stories include "Haunting Olivia" about two brothers looking for their lost sister who sailed away on a crab's exoskeleton, "Z.Z.’s Sleepaway Camp for Disordered Dreamers" where a boy with prophetic dreams goes a camp for children with sleep disorders, "The City of Shells," told from the perspective of an outsider girl who gets trapped in a giant conch shell, and "From Children's Reminisces of the Westward Migration" which is an ordinary boy's perspective on a pioneer journey when his father is a Minotaur pulling the wagon. ( )
1 vote Othemts | Jul 9, 2018 |
This book was original, and funny and poignant and great. The stories were like nothing I've ever read in their (sort of) magical realism. I usually don't make a point of reading short stories, but this was our September pick for book club, and I couldn't put it down. I woke up an hour early this morning so I could make sure I finished it for the meeting tonight. ( )
  Abbey_Harlow | Oct 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
Narrated by strange, quiet children and nestled deep in the mystique of the Everglades, Karen Russell’s stories are unnerving, darkly funny, and immensely enjoyable. Their standard recipe takes a common coming-of-age theme—“my parents are lunatics,” “death is part of life,” “growing up is hard”—folds it into a surreal situation—“my dad is a Minotaur,” “I am trapped in a giant conch shell with a janitor,” “my 14 sisters and I were raised by werewolves and now nuns are trying to prepare us for life in polite society”—and tops it off with superb, efficient sentences.

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karen Russellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carson, Carol DevineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tan, VirginiaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307276678, Paperback)

A San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year

In these ten glittering stories, debut author Karen Russell takes us to the ghostly and magical swamps of the Florida Everglades. Here wolf-like girls are reformed by nuns, a family makes their living wrestling alligators in a theme park, and little girls sail away on crab shells. Filled with stunning inventiveness and heart, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves introduces a radiant new writer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:37 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In these ten stories, Karen Russell takes us to the ghostly and magical swamps of the Florida Everglades. Here wolflike girls are reformed by nuns, a family makes their living wrestling alligators in a theme park, and little girls sail away on crab shells.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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