Title: The Girls from Corona Del Mar Author: Rufi Thorpe Narrator: Rebecca Lowman Published: July 8th 2014 by Knopf Format: Audio; Hardcover, 256 pages Genre: Fiction
I can probably agree with every negative review that I have read about this book, but at the same time, I think it is one of the best books that I have read. That is how diverse and troubling this book was for me.
This book is dark. It touches on difficult subject matters. At times, neither of the two main characters are very likeable, but yet, I was drawn to the broken characters that each were.
Starting this book in paper form, I was ready to put it down and agree with all the negative comments. Taking a chance, I switched to the audio and Rebecca Lowman made the characters and the time come alive. The story took a real turn for me and since I grew up in the Orange County area, the places were as real to me as they were to Mia and Lorrie Ann.
No one can hurt you as much as a friend and Mia found that out the hard way when Lorrie Ann, a girl that Mia had loved and idolized makes choices that twist their friendship to a point that neither will recover from.
I am not a fan of the term “coming of age”, so I will just refer to this book as watching two 15 years olds reaching adulthood while making life choices that lead each down their own path and the reader is left to watch the decisions and the self-destruction along the way.
To me, what was most curious about this book was the role reversal that took place. Like Mia, I was expecting more from Lorrie Ann after the birth of her son, but she seemed to have given up and was no longer the enviable person that Mia had always placed on a pedestal. You no longer felt sympathy for her and wondered how Mia kept looking for the good.
Told over a twenty year time period and intertwined with the Sumerian legend of Inanna, you see their friendship for what it was and what it was not. Two girls that in a way were thrown together, one good one bad and in the end neither hold their long established positions.
They each had to walk away. They knew too much about the other. They knew how to hurt in a way that there was no coming back from. Mia had to give up on the myth that she had created about her friend and Lorrie Ann needed to be the person that no longer had to live up to the expectations that had been placed on her.
There are many layers to this book and I had to step back from time to time and try to gain a different perspective. I, like Mia, kept wanting to justify Lorrie Ann’s actions, but in the end neither of us could come to terms with the person that she had become. Neither of us wanted to give up but there was no other choice.