Saturday, November 01, 2014

Girls Like Us, by Gail Giles

Quincy and Biddy have known each other from their years in the Special Ed program together, but they were hardly friends.  Quincy is perpetually angry and aggressive with others while Biddy cowers inside her jacket with an eating disorder.  But when these two young women graduate from school, they are placed together as roommates, caring for an elderly widow.  What develops is a touching and sensitive portrayal of discovery, growth, self-respect, and burgeoning understanding between the three of them.

Written in alternating chapters with Quincy's and Biddy's distinctive voices, the text takes a bit to warm up to.  But once you do get accustomed to it, the story is an eye-opener.  Giles takes her career in Special Education and uses it to give an authentic and inspiring voice to these two marginalized women.  The result can be heartbreaking at times, but it is ultimately uplifting.

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