By Erika Carter | Published in 2017
Carter’s motive isn’t clear in this tale of three women; she fails to capture the feelings of despair, confusion and self-worth that young people tend to experience upon leaving school and assuming real responsibility. However, she desperately tries to convince her readers otherwise in demonstrating self-destruction within her characters in the most conventional of ways – an inexplicable draw to starvation, alcohol abuse and consuming relationships.
Yet no character in this novel was relatable. The setting too, a small and desolate Arkansas town, could have been played to Carter’s advantage – it could have twisted the story into another, avoiding a flat character assassination but rather peeling into a level of societal damage. An accusation on behalf of these masochistic girls, to me, was missing.
It could have called attention to and provided reason for details it instead chose to ignore, such as the lack of Ellie’s familial support or the typical path for success expected of those fresh from school in a quaint, Southern town.