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. . . .
knew the habits of some of them—the kids who walked alone at night with a heavy rhythm, the ones who sat on the steps of the bookstore and chain-smoked, the students approaching the library with their heads down because they were defeated before they began. Usually, they paid no attention to us. But this one noticed me. She didn’t want me to see her. Any kind of cop will feel it. I had seen her at the other end of the first-floor lounge of the freshman dorms as she woke up. They call them
their teachers, not the vomit-moppers or thermostat repairmen, and surely not the campus cops. Janice Tanner’s face flapped in the wind outside, stirred in the hallways whenever a door was opened, and stared out of car windows over and over in the parking lots. It was time to get to the library. I’d been summoned for three, and I showed up a few minutes early. There were two FBI agents and the Secret Service men, and Anthony Berberich had showed up as instructed by me. Our job was to keep people
She was ready to go. She was ready to fall down, and I was going to lift her up and get her to the truck. “I will,” I said, “if you die.” “I want you to,” she said. Her lips were hardly moving now. Her eyes were closed. “I want you all to.” I dropped my shoulder and put it into her waist and picked her up and carried her down to the Jeep. She was talking, but not a lot, and her voice leaked down my back. I jammed her into the truck and wrapped the blanket around her better and then put another
that, all right. I’m gone. You got it straight up and down. I’m gone.” He backed up, made a K-turn in the little street, and rumbled toward the corner. I let the hammer down, put the safety on, and stuck the pistol in my pocket. When I looked up, across the street, a man with white hair and glasses was looking through his front window at me. When he saw me focus on him, he started, then stepped behind the curtain. I saw him peeking out when I turned the Jeep around and went back up the hill. He
in its mitten and waved. I said, “Bye.” The car I drove to work was possibly the last surviving Gran Torino station wagon manufactured by Ford in 1974. It was chocolate brown and rusted nearly through at a number of key points. At each of those points, where metal that simulated wood for an old-fashioned station wagon appearance was hanging off, I had laid on silvery duct tape. There was nearly nothing duct tape wouldn’t hold together. Among the exceptions would be people, I suppose. The car