Top critical review
14 May 2013
I read Gail Anderson-Dargatz's coming-of-age story quickly in two days. The writing was easily readable, and at times poetic (which is something I like in a book). You get a vivid impression of the landscape of British Columbia. I found myself empathising with the narrator, Beth Weeks, who was in many ways a familiar and quite ordinary teenage girl. But Beth shouldn't be ordinary. Things happen to her and they happen around her, horrendous things, and yet she remains pretty constant. Big issues are skirted around, half referred to, apart from the violence against animals. We are left to fill in the gaps. Maybe this is the narrator's way of coping, but as a result when I got to the end of the book and went over it in my head I was shocked by what I had read. The book contains: self-harm, rape, missing children, suicide, lesbianism, incest, child abuse, bestiality, insanity, and violence against humans and animals.