A Reality Check

by capreviewroom

Nancy Lee cleverly slips a bit of modern day Vancouver into the heart of her short stories compilation, Dead Girls. The novel in its entirety is plagued by graphic scenes of violence, drug abuse and sex which is used to alert readers on how crude the present day world stands. 

The collection of short stories each surround women of different ages with different occupations and whom live in different parts of BC but are all part of the same society. The short stories compel the readers to think; to question our own behaviour and how it affects the flaws in our world today.

Lee takes us back to roughly a decade ago when crime stories featuring missing women were particularly high in Vancouver; specifically, the shocking news reports about the Robert Pickton case during that time. “Dead Girls”, along with the other seven short stories, allow us to perceive society’s news from a different point of view.

“Sally, in Parts” is particularly unique apart from the other stories, which immediately throws bits of present day conflict to the reader’s attention right from the beginning. Written lightly at the start, we can feel an understandable innocence of the main character, Sally. However, it is not until a few pages later that the reader, engrossed in the thrilling pace of it all, will realize that Lee has put a horrifying conflict into play. Common everyday problems of self-esteem, confidence and lust unravel at an alarming pace -while still written in a moderately innocent narration.

Dead Girls is a brilliant piece of modern day literature that strikes us with serious questions about today’s society and how we, as readers, though different with age, occupation, living standards, and background may not be directly involved but may be unsettlingly related to such matters-to our collective society’s matters.


-Anna C.


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