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The Girls of No Returnby Erin Saldin
Synopses & Reviews
CUT meets HATCHET in this lacerating debut about girls, knives, and redemption.
The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area stretches across two million acres in northern Idaho. In its heart sits the Alice Marshall School, where fifty teenage girls come to escape their histories and themselves.
Lida Wallace has tried to negate herself in every way possible. At Alice Marshall, she meets Elsa Boone, a fierce native Idahoan; Jules, who seems too healthy to belong at the school; and Gia Longchamps, whose glamour entrances the entire camp. As the girls prepare for a wilderness trek, Lida is both thrilled and terrified to be chosen as Gia's friend. But everyone has their secrets--their "Things" they try to protect; and when those come out, the knives do as well.
THE GIRLS OF NO RETURN is a bold and powerful debut.
"In a narrative told through extended flashbacks that alternate with 'epilogue' sections, secretive Lida reflects on the time she spent as a troubled 16-year-old at the Alice Marshall School for Girls, tucked deep in the Idaho wilderness. Each of the girls at Alice Marshall has a 'Thing,' something from her past that brought her there. Lida, hostile toward her father and stepmother and still mourning her absent mother, isn't interested in sharing, but little by little, she reveals the reasons behind her destructive behavior. Debut author Saldin carefully builds suspense through the complex relationships that Lida forms with the other girls, particularly fierce, dangerous Boone, who has been abandoned by all of the people in her life and torments the other girls, and enigmatic Gia, who enchants and manipulates Lida. Saldin brings a polished descriptive style to the expansive wilderness setting, which subtly mirrors the shadowed layers of each girl's consciousness. Those expecting a violent confrontation won't be disappointed; through it, Lida learns the meaning of real friendship and forgiveness. Ages 14 — up. Agent: Denise Shannon Literary Agency. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Erin Saldin went on her first backpacking trip in northern Idaho at age fourteen. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and the Best New American Voices series, as well as multiple literary magazines. She lives in Missoula, Montana.
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