The Girls From Corona Del Mar by Rufi Thorpe is a debut novel about complex friendships. Like many young girls, Mia and Lorrie Ann are tangled in each other’s stories and secrets. But as they grow, experience and decisions and even luck separate them. The question that emerges is whether you can ever really know another person.
Thorpe has a fresh voice, and I enjoyed reading this book (despite the fact that it is filled to the brim with deep tragedy. I’m craving a little bit of happily-ever-after in my reading life these days). I do think that it sags a bit under its own ambition – there’s a plot line about ancient goddesses; there’s some philosophy about women’s agency and women’s rights; and there’s a thread about the callousness of the birth industry. The story also travels twenty years and across continents, so it is genuinely sprawling.
I’m a sucker for a good story about the je ne sais quoi of friendship – about the differences between and similarities to family relationships, how they change over time, and what happens when they get damaged. However, I’m noticing that I have read very few books that explore friendship among people that are older than 30. I don’t mean the books that feature older characters looking back at childhood or young adulthood – but books that genuinely consider the dimensions of friendship of adults. Can you help me out? Let’s start a list, bloggees!
If you’d like to find out a bit more about the author of The Girls From Corona Del Mar, there’s an interesting interview here.