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About this book
- Winner of the 2013 Alberta Readers' Choice Award!
Rebee Shore’s life is fragmented. She’s forever on the move, ricocheting around Alberta, guided less than capably by her dysfunctional mother Elizabeth.
The Shore Girl follows Rebee from her toddler to her teen years as she grapples with her mother’s fears and addictions, and her own desire for a normal life. Through a series of narrators—family, friends, teachers, strangers, and Rebee herself—her family’s dark past, and the core of her mother’s despair, are slowly revealed.
"Rebee Shore is a bittersweet creation: heart-rending yet utterly unsentimental, a frail warrior who both distresses and disarms everyone who encounters her—including the reader."
"An absorbing and searing portrait of a young girl lost in a fleeing journey of desperation, secrecy, loneliness, wanting, hope and compassion."
"In this compassionate novel, Fran Kimmel achieves a delicate creative rendering of loneliness: solitary strangers looking for the promise that you don't have to end like you started. Her characters lodge deep in the reader long after the last page is turned."
"Raw and heartbreaking.... Kimmel's debut will appeal to those who are drawn to dark, gritty family dramas, rife with vulnerable characters in turmoil."
"The Shore Girl's kooky yet realistic characters, true-to-life smells and sounds and scenes conjure up an unidealized world both familiar and alien. Like Harmony's van speeding through Wild Rose Country, it leads the reader into an in-depth examination of human emotions and motives."
"[Rebee's] life is constant chaos, a fact reinforced by the book's fractured narration.... Though she remains a mystery to nearly everyone who crosses her path, we gradually piece together Rebee's backstory and watch her mature, and The Shore Girl slowly unfolds its tragedy."
"The Shore Girl is a surefire winner."
"Somehow, [Kimmel] has taken a set of circumstances that are usually treated in sentimental, tiresome terms and knocked the cloying clichés off them." full review
"... a novel that continues to haunt well after it’s finished." full review
"In a literary world that’s becoming more akin to Hollywood every day, a book like Kimmel’s—one that asks a little from its readers—should be held dear." full review
"I would love to see this book in the hands of a teenage girl. I would have loved to have read it when I was 16. I’m still really glad I did at 33." full review
"'The Shore Girl' is ultimately hopeful. It’s about connection, the small and unfathomable ways we touch each other and thereby save each other." full review