“Dead Girls” Proves To Be Enticing and Fearless – Ali G

by capreviewroom

                We are all intertwined through the smallest details in life but this is something we all tend to forget. Dead Girls, a short story collection written by Nancy Lee, does a fantastic job of reminding us of this by taking the reader into eight different stories of the lives of strangers and their unconventional connection through one despicable act – a serial killer on trial for the murder of numerous prostitutes. Lee takes us into these somewhat tragic lives which have all been scarred with some sort of violence, pain, or loss, combined with drugs, alcohol, and sex to depict real life experiences and trauma that are all too often ignored.

          Set in Vancouver, Dead Girls portrays vivid imagery throughout every story, engaging the reader and walking them through each scene with every precise and deliberate word choice. Whether it’s the heartbreaking imagery of a young girl in “Sisters” taking a break from the cold and wet conditions of her job as a prostitute, “[rubbing] her calves together to get warm, [patting] her face with a paper napkin, careful not to smudge her eyes,” (239) or the vivid description of a hookup between an woman and a much younger boy in “Young Love,” Dead Girls fears no territory. Switching between first person, second person and third person narration, Lee tells the story through all eyes, ensuring boredom with this novel is never an option.

         Though many different lives are explored in the stories that comprise Dead Girls, the common theme that draws them together is loss. Whether it is lost forever or lost for the time, or a figurative loss, all the main characters of the stories experience loss in some way.  Lee shows no fear in illustrating these losses and the different methods of coping with them through extensive details such as the broken mother in “Sisters” who “saved a plate of food from every meal [her daughter] missed” (272). Lee’s other method of drawing the stories together, the back story of the murder trial of a local doctor, also ensures that the reader must be following along closely to catch the characters interactions with the secondary story, each giving away different details about the doctor turned killer that impacts all the individuals lives and current situations in a different way.

          All in all, Dead Girls is not only an interesting read but it is well worth it. It does more than just entice the reader with its powerful topics of often taboo subjects but actually challenges the reader to follow along with the happenings of a murder trial through eight entirely different lives of complete strangers. Lee not only accomplishes moving the reader but succeeds in breaking hearts and challenging opinions as well as causing reflection onto oneself and one’s own cultural and social experiences of life throughout the entire read.

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One Comment to ““Dead Girls” Proves To Be Enticing and Fearless – Ali G”

  1. Ali Guerra’s Review

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