Girls: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A New York Times Notable Book
In the unrelenting cold and bitter winter of upstate New York, Jack and his wife, Fanny, are trying to cope with the desperate sorrow they feel over the death of their young daughter. The loss forms a chasm in their relationship as Jack, a sardonic Vietnam vet, looks for a way to heal them both.
Then, in a nearby town, a fourteen-year-old girl disappears somewhere between her home and church. Though she is just one of the hundreds of children who vanish every year in America, Jack turns all his attention to this little girl. For finding what has become of this child could be Jack's salvation--if he can just get to her in time. . . .
anything,” Sergeant Bird said. “What qualifies you to ride the same horse as me?” “I didn’t say I was. I had a little experience in the service.” “Which, judging from what I see, was not the day before yesterday.” “A while ago,” I said. “I was an MP. I got into some stuff and I ended up attached to Intelligence. It was mostly surveillance and, right before I was done, some interrogation.” “Army?” I nodded. “They’re a joke,” he said. “No,” I said, “Navy Intelligence is a joke. Army’s almost
people were there, and Professor Piri, and a jock who worked in Alumni Relations and had a law degree but no bar exam. He was there, apparently, in place of the college lawyer, who was flying back with the president. Everyone sat tall in his or her chair, except Piri, who couldn’t be tall, and who I kept thinking of as cute. You can lose a couple of inches of flesh for saying that word these days to a woman, especially if she looks like a girl. We sat in a long, narrow room with windows that
moved my right hand again and pressed at the horn. I kept it there, and soon they came out. I thought it was so lovely. The big metal door swung out and Fanny in white uniform trousers and shirt and white sweater came running. The door swung in, then out again, and she was followed by another nurse pushing a gurney. Fanny pulled the car door open, and she looked so tough, so used to finding someone like me who came spilling out of a car and almost through her arms. I waited to feel the snow
bounded into the backseat, over it, and back to the tailgate, and then he came back to half-stand on the seat beside me, winding his hind end into his tail. She saw us. She slowed, then picked up her pace and went to her car. She held on to its door handle and then she came over. I rolled my window down. He came across me, leaned in fast to be sure and dent a rib, and then he was outside and up and down beside her. They do look like they’re smiling, and she was smiling back. I got out of the
hearing the ice crack under my feet. There was a smell of something soft—I didn’t know what, but it had to do with spring. Either something was rising up from under the ice and snow and black water or something was spilling off the trees and plants. It was possible that spring would come. It might. I didn’t know. Mrs. Tanner was going to die, though. She wouldn’t see Janice. I knew that. I was certain she was dead. I wondered if one of them really had a diary she’d written. Why not? I might have