They Will Always Love Each Other ~ Krista D.

by capreviewroom

 Dead Girls, written by Nancy Lee, is a collection of short stories that are both tragic and eye opening. Set in Vancouver, all of these stories are very graphic, containing drugs and alcohol, violence, and sex. Lee does a great job of informing us of serious issues that may be occurring, which people either ignore or are not well informed about. Each story is written brilliantly through different perspectives.

In “Dead Girls,” a compulsive news-watching mother wants to find her missing daughter. She is desperate for an answer, causing a rocky relationship with her husband; however, she loves her daughter unconditionally and not only cares about her safety, but also the safety of the other young girls working as prostitutes: “You want to remind them to be safe, to carry mace and maybe a knife, to keep the car doors unlocked and their seatbelts off, to have another girl memorize the license plate” (Lee, 113). At the end of this story, the mother consoles her husband. Even though they are going through a tragic and difficult situation, they will always love each other.

“Sisters” is a story that helps us to recognize that there are many people out there that do whatever they can in order to earn money so that they have some place to live and food to eat. The story goes back and forth between Grace and her older sister Nita. Lee does a great job of writing about the hardships that a single mother goes through, working so hard just to be able to have food on the table and someplace for her and her two girls to live. “Sisters” portrays siblings in a very honest manner; they will do anything to make the other jealous, and always want to get the last word, but at the end of the day, they will always love each other.

There are different characters in each story: sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, and even a pill-addicted nurse. There is only one character that subtly appears in every story: a retired dentist “… accused of killing prostitutes and burying them in his backyard” (4). He was going to be the defendant in the murder case in “Associated Press” until he confesses to what he did. He is the talk of town in “Dead Girls,” appearing on the news for killing a total count of 29 prostitutes. In “East,” he showed up on the front cover of a newspaper. Although he is not a main character, Lee subtly brings him back in each story.

Although the stories have tragedies, they also have some happy endings. Even if something tragic has happened to one of the characters, whether it be being verbally abused by their father, working the streets of East Vancouver, having a failing marriage, or having a missing daughter, each character has something that is so important and what life is worth living for, love. No matter what happens, they will always love each other.

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