Monday, July 29, 2013

On "Prison Girls" by Emily Alford (8070 words) ****

The child--or in this case, the young teen--offers a great perspective for stories. That combination of naivete and the hard situations of life is compelling, especially because stories generally focus on moments of change, on moments where that naivete is broken, replaced by some deeper understanding of the world around. Because of this potential, the story about the child is used often--and often not to very good effect.

Alford's tale, however, is not one of those. This is a tale where the child's perspective works perfectly. Madison is a consummate liar, sent to a boarding school by her parents and her psychologist to overcome her bad habit. She also doesn't like anyone--or life in general. She's about to learn some very tough lessons, however, at the instigation of a Ukrainian janitor. Think "Boy Cries Wolf" but with the complexity of a Dickens novel. Read the story here at Trigger.

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