The Clay Girl

The Clay Girl

Book - 2016
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Vincent Appleton smiles at his daughters, raises a gun, and blows off his head. For the Appleton sisters, life had unravelled many times before. This time it explodes. Eight-year-old Hariet, known to all as Ari, is dispatched to Cape Breton and her Aunt Mary, who is purported to eat little girls. But Mary and her partner, Nia, offer an unexpected refuge to Ari and her steadfast companion, Jasper, an imaginary seahorse. Yet the respite does not last, and Ari is torn from her aunts and forced back to her twisted mother and fractured sisters. Her new stepfather, Len, and his family offer hope, but as Ari grows to adore them, she?s severed violently from them too, when her mother moves in with the brutal Dick Irwin. Through the sexual revolution and drug culture of the 1960s, Ari struggles with her father?s legacy and her mother?s addictions, testing limits with substances that numb and men who show her kindness. Ari spins through a chaotic decade of loss and love, the devilish and divine, with wit, tenacity, and the astonishing balance unique to seahorses.
Publisher: Toronto : MisFit Books, 2016.
ISBN: 9781770413030
Characteristics: 345 pages :,illustration ;,22 cm


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IndyPL_MahasinM Feb 16, 2019

This was a book so gripping I read it twice, no joke. It tells the story of Ari and her families, one of birth and one her of choosing. It is a harsh reminder that not all mothers love, but that the kindness of strangers turned friends and into a family of sorts, can have a lasting impact on a young woman. Sometimes this book will have you laughing, other moments it will rip you to your core and leave you sobbing and empty. One of the best books I've read in a while. #IndyPLAdults

May 01, 2018

Fantastic debut novel.

Mar 03, 2018

The protagonist is stunningly believable and courageous. I was cheering for her until the very last page. I like that family for her was anyone willing to show love and care, especially when her own parents failed (this is not a spoiler). I love the poetic narration.

Nov 22, 2017

This would seem to be a sad story. It is about a young girl who lives with her sisters in a very abusive and neglectful home. However the book has a hopeful, almost joyous feel to it. It is really about the family, community and friends (real and imaginary) that rally around these children. It is filled with loving supporting characters and the main character Ari is such an interesting, unusual child. The writing style is a bit unique and takes some getting used to but it isn't difficult at all and it really suits the thoughts and speech of the main girl in the story. If you like to read something that is fresh and a bit unique, this book will be one you will remember.

Nov 23, 2016

This is a well written book that follows the troubled life of Ari from age 9 to 16. The novel is full of acts of kindness in the midst of a dysfunctional family that shows how much we can all do to make a difference in someone's life. The ending makes you want to know more about Ari's life. Great read that offers lots of discussion for book clubs.

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