The Burning Girl
Julia and Cassie have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge and Cassie sets out on a journey that will put her life in danger and shatter her oldest friendship. The Burning Girl is a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about youth and friendship, and straddles, expertly, childhood's imaginary worlds and painful adult reality--crafting a true, immediate portrait of female adolescence.
Claire Messud, one of our finest novelists, is as accomplished at weaving a compelling fictional world as she is at asking the big questions: To what extent can we know ourselves and others? What are the stories we create to comprehend our lives and relationships? Brilliantly mixing fable and coming-of-age tale, The Burning Girl gets to the heart of these matters in an absolutely irresistible way.
The Burning Girl was named one of the best books of the year by the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, NPR, Financial Times, Town & Country, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Refinery29, and Literary Hub.
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About the Author
Breathtaking.... With this novel, Messud brings her own particular brand of astuteness and emotional intelligence through her careful and thoughtful prose.
Messud is at her most incisive in exploring the volatile transition from childhood to adolescence.
[Messud] has specialized in creating unusual female characters with ferocious, imaginative inner lives... and quietly making a case for women's interiority as a subject worthy of the most serious examination.--Ruth Franklin
Messud captures young adolescence vividly and unjudgmentally.... Messud is a storyteller: the ability to compel and hold the reader's interest may not be the crown and summit of novel writing, but it's the beginning and end of it.... [T]he story rewards the reader right through to the end.--Ursula K. Le Guin
Messud is psychologically astute about her characters and about the competing social and familial pressures... that make adolescent friendship and its dissolution so fraught.