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Girls : A Novel

Busch, Frederick

578 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0517704552 / ISBN 13: 9780517704554
Published by Crown Publishing Group, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1997
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kennedy Books (Jamestown, ND, U.S.A.)

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Fine copy protected by Brodart. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000042

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Girls : A Novel

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Frederick Busch has built a reputation as a master storyteller, a magician with words, and a writer who deserves to be a household name. In his new novel, Girls, he once again treats readers to the "ice-clear, dagger-sharp" (Seattle Times) writing he's become known for and a story that's deeply affecting, terrifying, and tragic.

Jack is a security officer at an upstate New York college.  When 14-year-old Janice Tanner vanishes from a neighboring town, he reluctantly becomes involved in the search as a favor to a friend of the girl's parents.  A suicidal young woman, a teenage runaway, and two more missing girls make it impossible for Jack to drive resurfacing memories of his own daughter's death from his mind.  In the course of the investigation, as he comes to confront Janice's murderer, Jack comes to realize just how dangerous it is to be a girl: "I wondered if girls had been kidnapped, murdered, preyed upon for years.  Maybe it was the times, and therefore everything human and otherwise from when we began might not be at fault."

Girls is  a novel that is both a thriller and a stylistic wonder, and, like its protagonist, is tender and tough at the same time.


Frederick Busch's 18th work of fiction, Girls, is a novel whose roots lie buried in an earlier short story. In "Ralph the Duck," Busch introduced Jack and Franny, a young couple trying to recover from the recent death of their baby daughter. In Girls Busch expands Jack and Franny's lives beyond this single personal tragedy to encompass a greater loss: the disappearance of a 14-year-old girl, daughter of the town minister and his dying wife, from the community.

Propelled by his own loss, Jack, a security guard at a local college, begins investigating the disappearance, and thus Busch's novel becomes a literary detective story. In the course of solving the mystery, Jack must grapple with his attraction to a professor at the college, the disintegration of his marriage, and the impossibility of outrunning the past.

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