Monday, October 07, 2013
The Different Girl, by Gordon Dahlquist
But it isn't just that the girl is different. The island itself is changing and danger seems to be approaching quickly. The guardians begin warning the girls that their very survival may be at risk. And as previously unimagined dangers close in on the four girls, they come to rely on the new arrival to guide them.
An unusual, striking, and original story. The mystery of the girls themselves and how they came to live on the island is very slowly unraveled (but is also a process which is never completed). Instead, we are left with a story with many things unexplained. The loose ends offer up a choice of interpretations to the reader. Yet, given the situation, it is natural that a vast majority of the story's action occurs off-page and is beyond the ability of the narrator to explain to us. Some readers may find that maddening, but I think it provides a fascinating dynamic for the reader to absorb, leaving us sometimes as bewildered as the four girls themselves.