I randomly picked out a book at Chapter One, my local bookstore. It was on the recommended shelf right across from the cash register. I’d picked this book up before and found it odd that there was a sticky note on the back. “Warning! Spoiler & Misleadings! Please just read the first couple pages….” What is that supposed to mean? I put the book back and looked at other sections of the store. When I came back in another day that book was still on the recommended shelf. I picked it up again. And again the sticky note was on the back. I picked up another copy, same sticky note message. The sticky note message was on all the copies on the shelf. I lifted the note to read the description and immediately realized this was where the spoilers and misleadings were. I stopped reading the back before finishing the first sentence and erased what I had read from my mind, as much as one can.
“The Clay Girl” by Heather Tucker is not for everyone. It has that “Glass Castles” kind of theme. A family trying to survive in unfathomable situations.
Two things make this book an incredible read. The protagonist is surviving with the help of her positive adult role models and the author’s style of writing is an artistic masterpiece. As you read each sentence you think that you have missed something and should start over. But that is not the case. Keep putting the sentences into your head. When you get to the end of each short chapter your brain will weave all of the information together and then your brain will think “good God, what are these poor people living through”. It’s truly magical. This author does not tell a story, she shows a story. I’m glad I found this book before the Thanksgiving break as I can not put it down.
The sexual misconduct in this story is rampant and although this is a novel, it is a novel that shows how society seems to not be able to correct or address this subject. Sweep it under the rug. Buck up. Move on. Slut. He’s a Republican, that’s all I care about. It’s just locker room talk. He’s the star quarterback just having a little fun.
I tried reading the book “Missoula”, which I do recommend, but could not finish. It’s not a tour guide. “Missoula” is a non-fiction book about star college football players raping female friends at parties and how the perpetrators downplay the conduct or worse get away with it. This doesn’t just happen at the University of Montana. This just happened to be the University that Jon Krakauer chose for his research. A small college town in which most of the population are Griz fans whether they went to college or not.
She was asking for it. She was drunk. She wore that outfit for a reason. Why would she ever subject herself to publicly telling this story of one bad night?
I couldn’t have written “The Clay Girl”. I have no stories or experiences of this nature. Which is, even more, a reason for me to read it. To have empathy, to have the compassion to try and understand. Probably it fuels my fire for the stories coming out in the news lately. How many women have been subjected to sexual misconduct? To get a promotion, feed their kids, get ahead, pass a class.
You’ll love the heroes in “The Clay Girl”, especially the men. Hooray for the men who love and respect the women in their lives. You are the majority and we love you back. Hooray for the men who roast us brussel sprouts, let us cry tears of frustration with them, wash the dishes, wait patiently as we browse in a store, fill up our freezers with game meat and share the experiences of the natural world in speechless appreciation.
I highly recommend (although not for everyone) the novel “The Clay Girl”. ( But don’t read the back cover.)
You can find more great book recommendations at Wild About Books Website.
4 thoughts on “Sexual Misconduct and a New Book Selection”
Thank you for the ‘spectacular’ review of The Clay Girl. I’m delighted you ‘saw’ that the book was more about everyday heroes: a few good men, kind teachers, loving aunts, sisters, a solid friend… than about the abuse.
A little imagination, creative work and a companion that will roast brussel sprouts for us is how we survive and thrive, isn’t it:)
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Lisa, I love your blogs! I can’t wait to read more.
I had decided that I was not going to read this one because I have a difficult time with books on this subject. However, I just reread the blog and decided that I must.
Are you going to give Brett anything else for Christmas or just
this praise of good men which I believe was mostly about him.
Thanks for another well written blog!