A Girl, in Parts

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Book Description

A first novel of adolescence that introduces a voice so fresh, so original, so pitch-perfect it seems destined to become a classic in the literature of coming of age. In the early 1980s in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Dorothy lives with her bartending mother, her bar-attending stepfather, and her sweetly precocious little brother. Dottie is nine, plagued by insomnia, asthma, earaches, and bad teeth. She is lonely and insecure, but her intelligence and keen perception enable her to see every vivid detail of her impoverished rural surroundings and the strange characters around her. When her family moves to eastern Washington State, Dottie–confused, petulant, feeling more alone than ever, and furious at her changing body–battles her way through junior high, where she finds some success and recognition in sports and academics. Her hard-won victories are tempered by her troubled family and friends and she finds solace and distraction in alcohol, cigarettes, and acting out. Dottie–nicknamed Utah by her teammates from the Colville Indian Reservation–becomes a star basketball player, falls in and out of love, and confronts a new, devastating emotional setback. But Dottie is indomitable: