An Unforgettable Piece of Work–Sara Nasseri

by capreviewroom

Dead Girls is an intriguing book of short stories which deals with many relevant issues in today’s society. Because of that fact, and because all of the stories are set in Vancouver, it is easier for the reader to resonate with Nancy Lee’s eight pieces. Despite its few flaws—it is, overall, an insightful, appealing piece of work which does not shy away from topics that often invite controversy.

There are eight short stories in the book, each of them dealing with a specific issue. ‘Sally in Parts’ deals with provocative Sally, attempting to reconnect with her father; ‘Associated Press’ centers around the protagonist who remains unnamed throughout the piece, and her relationship with two different men, which, ultimately leads to a pregnancy and an impossible choice; and ‘Valentines’ exposes the horror of a 15-year old boy subjecting his 13-year old girlfriend to sexual favors.

The characters make this book truly fascinating. Even though each character only appears in about 35 pages, Lee writes them with an authenticity that the reader is left remembering them days after their story ends. This may be perhaps because some of them have tragic endings. For example, ‘Sisters’ conveys not only betrayal but more so, issues on the downtown east side. This theme is relevant throughout the entirety of the book. In the beginning of ‘Associated Press,’ Nancy Lee explains the main character going to the courthouse to act as a juror for a case which involved a former dentist luring prostitutes and killing them. Dead girls, also, centers on a mother and father searching for their missing prostitute daughter.

In the end, despite the sometimes difficult to read subject matter, Lee knows how to write an interesting story with memorable characters. Themes of intimacy, dysfunction, and women’s issues are prevalent throughout the work and add to its captivating dynamic.

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