An Entertaining Read

by capreviewroom

 Dead Girls by Nancy Lee is a collection of short stories that take place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The issues that Nancy Lee explores in the book include family problems, issues concerning women (violence against women, abortion sexuality, etc.). In addition, these stories bring to the surface the notion that each city has their own distinct problems in society, and in Vancouver’s case, it focuses on the downtown east side, where prostitutes and drug users are frequently in that particular area; it is interesting to note that just blocks away from this area, there happens to be some of the most wealthiest and influential parts of the city.

The novel contains eight short stories, each individual from each other yet sharing a mutual theme of love, loss, and struggle.  The two that were most striking was “Associated press” which consists of a young woman who is in an increasingly tough spot when she realizes that she is pregnant and decides to terminate the pregnancy because she felt “the world was no place to raise a child” (page 20). The girl’s boyfriend appears that he is not as in love with her as he says. For example, every time he is away from her and she calls him he repeatedly says, “I’ve really wanted to call you but..” (Page, 32) Also, “Dead Girls” which deals with a mother and daughter bond that is tested as a result of the daughter’s newfound occupation as a prostitute. Each evening  “between four and midnight you watch five hours of local coverage” (page 99) frightened because she is worried that her daughter will be killed next since officers have been finding girls dead in a backyard.

An interesting point in both these stories was recognizing the places where the characters were for example, in “Associated Press” “he is at home in a suite at the Marriott hotel” (page 3) and in “Dead Girls” the protagonist was told to “settle in at the diner on the corner, the lotus cafe” (page 113) which is a little shop located downtown it hooks readers when the notice locations in books that they know or have visited before. Both stories are written in second person, “you” which is referring to the protagonist, which appears to be the mother. For example, straight from the beginning the story starts off with “you are addicted to the television news” (page 99) this clearly resembled the mother worried about her daughter’s where-abouse.

Lee has done an amazing job in making the emotions so real to the point where the readers get attached to the characters. The lay out of the book was perfect because the stories were not overwhelmingly long, and no one would want to put it down because it is so detailed which allows people to relate to the characters. The places and settings felt so real to the point where you could visualize the characters as if you were in the book. Lee also did a great job in making the situations in every story believable, for example, in “Associated Press” it felt like the girl was chasing the boy and in real life, that tends to be the case most often.

Overall, the entire collection came together as a whole, everything made sense it was a huge build up but it was so worth reading it. The book allowed readers to develop interest so that people would want to know what was going to occur next. What made the stories so important was how understandable they were. Every girl who opens this book can relate to it in one way or another.



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