Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Read By: Julia Whelan
Length: 10 hours and 43 minutes
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
A deeply moving portrait of a teenage girl on the verge of losing herself and the journey she must take to survive in her own skin, Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.
This story was hard to read. It was H E A V Y and S U F F O C A T I N G and it made me feel H E L P L E S S. This book, everything that happens in this book, it is real. This happens every day. Maybe not in your every day, but in the days of a lot of people out there in the world, and that makes this book important.
Speaking as someone who has never struggled with mental illness, depression, or addiction before, I will admit that I’ve always thought that it has to be somewhat easy to stop when things get bad enough. That all it would take was a really awful situation and recognizing that you’re hurting the people around you to finally make the choice to turn your life around. Nobody wants things to be bad, and nobody wants to hurt people that they care about, right? Obviously solution would be to stop. This book proved me entirely wrong and opened my eyes in the most heart wrenching way.
For example, I was getting a little annoyed throughout the book because Charlie wasn’t getting better, and I was waiting for my happy ending where things finally clicked and she made that “easy” decision to get better. Then I realized: that untrue expectation is exactly what this book is about! It’s about how not easy it is to just stop and “be okay. How not easy it is to just jump back into society and pretend everything is wonderful and all your struggles are behind you. But that is what people usually expect of those trying to get better. It’s expected that it will be easy. Frankly, miracles are expected, and most of the time, they don’t happen.
This book in general is slow moving. If you’re looking for something full of drama and craziness, this isn’t it. I chose to view the pace of this book as a metaphor that recovery is not something that can be rushed. It’s taking things one day at a time, and hoping for the best outcome. What I hope people take from this book is an understanding (even if it’s the teeniest tiniest littlest bit) of what people like Charlie, who are battling their demons, have to face day to day. Because that understanding might lead to some compassion, which might lead to better outcomes. Who knows…
How did you feel about Girl in Pieces?