Downeast: Five Maine Girls and the Unseen Story of Rural America

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5.5 X 8.5 X 1.3 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

Gigi Georges, Ph.D., has had an extensive career in politics, public service, and academia. A former White House Special Assistant to the President and Communications Director for the New York City Department of Education, she has taught political science at Boston College, served as Program Director for the Harvard Kennedy School's Innovation Strategies Initiative, and been a Managing Director of The Glover Park Group--a leading national strategic communications firm. She and her family live part-time in Downeast Maine.


"This remarkably poignant and timely book should be read by anyone who cares to understand rural America's human tragedies and heroic triumphs. Through the gripping sagas of five young women, Georges not only unsparingly documents rural poverty, joblessness, and opioid addiction, but details how so many people in the rural community have nonetheless kept right on coping, hoping, and caring for each other through grit, goodness, and faith in God. Here is the whole truth about America's rural towns and cities." --John J. DiIulio, Jr., Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania
"A heartfelt portrait of five teenage girls growing up in Maine's remote and economically depressed Washington County . . . . Enriched by the author's love of the area and deep admiration for her subjects, this is a worthy tribute to a group of stalwart young women committed to forging their own paths."--Publishers Weekly
"An empathetic, observant account of five young women trying to chart their path in rural Maine, and a moving exploration of individuals who want to both transcend and honor their roots in an economy and culture that often overlook girls and women. Georges does the opposite by rigorously adhering to their perspectives, so that we see their world, their choices, and their strength, through their own eyes."--Amy Waldman, author of A Door in the Earth and The Submission
Each of these stories reflects the extreme challenges of life in poor, rural America . . . . It's almost impossible not to care about these fierce young women and cheer for their hard-won successes.--Kirkus Reviews
Georges respects the region's families and way of life that instill generational grit and a self-sufficient work ethic, even as she explores tragedies and dark spots in its community soul. Her characterization of Downeast is thus nostalgic without being sentimental, empathetic without being patronizing . . . Georges' lovely book will appeal to readers seeking memoirs, understanding of rural worlds, feminist values, or even travel writing.--Booklist